Chinese officials arrived in Bhutan for the first time after the controversy of Doklam.
Beijing, China and Bhutan have reviewed the bilateral relations after discussing the border dispute after the Opposition stalemate. A high level delegation of Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou visited the two-day visit to Bhutan during which many agreements were held. Kong also invited Bhutan to join China’s project ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI).
It is noteworthy that there is no diplomatic relations between China and Bhutan, but they periodically interact with officials through visits. This is the first Bhutan trip to an official of Beijing, after 73 days of military standoff in Dokalam between India and China. Bhutan had opposed the formation of China’s road in Doklam area. India had also opposed it because this construction was going on near the strategically important chicken neck Corridor connecting the North-East region. All three countries make their claim on this field.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told in brief briefing that during the visit, Kong said during the visit that the two sides shared ideas on China-Bhutan relations, discussed border issues and made many agreements. Meanwhile, China also called Bhutan to join its BRI project, under which the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) also comes. India had opposed this project because CPE passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.