Bhutan govt, Chinese student bare Beijing's lies on Doklam

10 August 2017

The Bhutanese government has refuted Chinese claims that Bhutan had agreed to China's claims on Doklam and has asked concerned parties India and China - to refer to their past statement on the issue, even as a Chinese student laid bare China's false claims on Doklam saying Beijing has been misleading Chinese people for years over Doklam, which it has appropriated from a weaker neghbour.

''China has occupied Doklam for years. Bhutan does not have the ability to reclaim the land,'' the Quora post by the international Chinese student at a US university said.

''Although I am a Chinese, I feel I am obligated to tell my fellow Chinese the truth: China entered the territory of Bhutan,'' a law student at America's Washington University in St Louis wrote on Quora

Days after the Chinese foreign ministry claimed that Bhutan had confirmed to them that Doklam was not a part of its territory, the Bhutanese government has refuted claims by a Chinese diplomat that it has no dispute with China over Doklam.

ANI quoted Bhutanese government officials as saying that their position on the border standoff remains unaltered. "Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan's foreign ministry on June 29, 2017."

A few days ago, a senior Chinese diplomat, Wang Wenli, made the shocking claim that Bhutan had conveyed to Beijing via diplomatic channels that the area where the standoff between New Delhi and Beijing is going on was not in its territory.

The deputy director general of the department of boundary and ocean affairs in China's foreign ministry had reportedly briefed Indian delegation yesterday on this claim.

"After the incident, the Bhutanese made it very clear to us that the place where the trespassing happened is not Bhutan's territory," said Wang.

The Chinese diplomat did not provide any proof to substantiate her claim, which was immediately rejected by Bhutan.

Bhutan had protested to the Chinese government, accusing it of violating a bilateral pact after its troops tried to construct a road in the Doklam area on 16 June.

A statement issued by India's External Affairs Ministry on June 30 said, "On June 16, a PLA (People's Liberation Army) construction party entered the Doklam area and attempted to construct a road. It is our understanding that a Royal Bhutan Army patrol attempted to dissuade them from this unilateral activity."

India had also cited the Bhutanese foreign ministry as emphasising that "the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the 1988 and 1998 agreements between Bhutan and China and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between these two countries. They have urged a return to the status quo as before June 16, 2017."

India also conveyed to the Chinese government that the road construction would represent a significant change of status quo with serious security implications for it. India says both sides should first pull back their troops for any talks to take place.

Wang said Bhutan is observing the actions being taken by both Indian and Chinese troops from its territory. Bhutan has no direct diplomatic relations with China and maintains contacts with Beijing through its diplomatic mission in New Delhi.

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