(TibetanReview.net, Jan14’23) – Bhutan and China have held the 11th meeting of their expert groups over their Chinese-occupied Tibet border dispute from Jan 10 to 13 in the Chinese city of Kunming. The meeting was held ahead of the convening of the 25th round of border talks for which no date has been announced yet.
A joint press release said the two sides, in a frank, cordial and constructive atmosphere, held an in-depth exchange of views on implementing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Three-Step Roadmap for Expediting the China-Bhutan Boundary Negotiations, and reached positive consensus. The two sides have agreed to simultaneously push forward the implementation of all the steps of the Three-Step Roadmap.
The two sides have also agreed to increase the frequency of the expert group meeting and to keep contact through diplomatic channels on holding the 25th Round of Bhutan-China boundary talks as soon as possible at mutually convenient dates.
The MoU on a Three-Step Roadmap to help speed up boundary talks was signed between the two sides last year, with China describing it as of historic significance.
In a show of good will and friendship, the Chinese government donated a range of supplies to Bhutan, for which the Bhutanese side expressed appreciation. The two sides also held a brief handover ceremony for these supplies during the meeting, said China’s official globaltimes.cn Jan 14.
The Bhutanese delegation was led by Dasho Letho Tobdhen Tangbi, Secretary of the International Boundaries of Bhutan, and the Chinese side by Hong Liang, Director-General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
China has long been accused of building roads and sending Tibetan herders to graze their herds and hunt for medicinal cordyceps in Bhutanese territory. It has also been staking new territorial claims over Bhutan in recent years. There have also been reports of China building new border security villages in Bhutanese territory.