Bhutan . Both countries are trying to influence all the big leaders of Bhutan. All these leaders will play a potentially important role in the formation of the upcoming government. Bhutan is a small country but strategically important for both India and China.
China Deputy Foreign Minister Kang Shuanyu arrived on an undeclared foreign trip on Monday in Thimphu, capital of Bhutan. He also met the Prime Minister of Bhutan Sher Singh Tobage. Earlier, China’s Ambassador Luo Shaohuui also visited Bhutan. India has become uncomfortable with these Bhutan tours of China’s leaders.
It is believed that Chinese Ambassador Luo went to Bhutan to take stock of the preparations for Prime Minister Kong’s visit. Since India’s efforts have not yet established any formal diplomatic relations between China and Bhutan, China is now stepping forward to Thimphu. Significantly, Bhutan is still considered India’s best friend country. Apart from this, Bhutan is the only country in India that has refused to become a part of China’s BRI project (Belt and Road Initiative).
Before Luo arrived in Bhutan on Saturday, another Chinese diplomat Li Bijian was present in Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital for almost a week. When Chinese colleagues asked us about this visit by our associate newspaper ‘Times of India’, they did not respond. Although diplomatic sources have shown that Luo will interact with the big political leaders of Bhutan
Recognizing the growing relationship between China and Bhutan, an official source from India said that India has already told Bhutanese officials that immediately after the formation of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will immediately reach Thimphu. Tell us that Bhutan’s current Prime Minister Sher Singh Tobgay is considered to be India’s leader and it is believed that he will resign from his post on July 31.
According to some internal reports from the Government of India, the anti-incumbency wave in Bhutan is at the peak. At such a time, the presence of Chinese leaders and diplomats in Bhutan is worrisome. China has been pressurizing for a land swap deal with Bhutan for a long time. If Bhutan makes any such agreement, then Bhutan can transfer the plateau of Doklaam to China. Dokalam is strategically important for India and last year there was a lot of time in which India and China’s armies came face-to-face. Strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellani has said that this visit of Chinese diplomats is very important because the Chinese army has already occupied a large portion of Dokalam, which Bhutan considers its integral part.