Bhutan has conveyed to China, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries, the foreign ministry has stated in a press release it issued yesterday.
The press release was issued following recent queries and reports on the Bhutan-China boundary in the Doklam area. According to the foreign ministry, the Chinese Army started constructing a motorable road from Dokala in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zornpelri on June 16, 2017.
“Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before June 16, 2017,” the press release stated.
Boundary talks are ongoing between Bhutan and China and there are written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question, and to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959, the press release stated.
“The agreements also state that the two sides will refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary,” it stated.
Bhutan and China has held 24 rounds of boundary talks since it began in 1984. Two areas, one in the central northern sector and four in the western sector have been the subject of talks as there are differences in claims in these areas. The disputed area in Pasamlung in the central north comprises of 496 sq km. The disputed areas in the western section are Dramana, Charithang, Sinchulung, and Doklam, in the dzongkhags of Haa and Paro.