A short thread on Bhutan and its challenges..by Nitin Gokhale


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Nitin A. Gokhale
20h • 9 tweets • 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter

This upcoming visit of the Bhutan King from Monday comes just over six months after his last trip. He was in New Delhi on 14 September 2022. The upcoming visit becomes important in view of recent developments on Bhutan-China boundary issue. What are those? mea.gov.in/press-releases…
China and Bhutan held the 11th round of the Expert Groups Meeting in January, declaring ‘positive consensus’ in the boundary talks in Kunming.

The talks promised a swift implementation of an agreement that both sides had signed in 2021, a “three-step road map” to resolve their dispute. @StratNewsGlobal had reported extensively on what transpired in that meeting stratnewsglobal.com/neighbours/bhu…
China has been putting relentless pressure on Bhutan by claiming new areas as we first reported in June 2020 stratnewsglobal.com/china/china-cr…
In less than 20 months after standing up to China, in January this year the EGM met again, seemingly taking the issue forward.
As is the usual practice, Bhutan kept India in the loop. Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra travelled to Thimphu within a week to understand the nuances:

Then, last week, an interview by @PMBhutan Lotay Tshering raised fresh concerns on Bhutan’s apparent change in stance.:

‘There are three equal countries’: Why Bhutan prime minister’s remarks on China in Doklam is a concern for India
Bhutan prime minister Lotay Tshering recently said that all three countries — India, China, and Bhutan — have equal say in resolving the Doklam plateau dispute. This remark raises speculation about a …
After a spate of commentary and reports, both in Indian media and in China’s Global Times, @PMBhutan issued this clarification:

Prime Minister says no change in stance on border talks and nothing new was said – The Bhutanese
This is after Indian media outlets misrepresented his interview to a Belgian newspaper and blew it o

Prime Minister says no change in stance on border talks and nothing new was said

It is against this backdrop that the young King will be in Delhi this Monday. Incidentally, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the Druk Gyalpo of the Kingdom of Bhutan is an alumnus of India’s National Defence College. He attended the 11-month course in 2005.
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More from @nitingokhale
Nitin A. Gokhale Profile picture
Nitin A. Gokhale
Sep 20, 2022
Our annual marquee event, the India Defence Conclave is finally here. The entire event will be live-streamed on YouTube. Link for inaugural session. Starts at 1400 hrs IST

Tech Session 1:

Tech session 2:

Nitin A. Gokhale Profile picture
Nitin A. Gokhale
May 27, 2022
On Afghanistan NSA Doval made the following points: India has historical and civilisational relations with Afghanistan; India has always stood by the people of Afghanistan. This will continue to guide India’s approach.
India has focused on infrastructure, connectivity and humanitarian assistance over the decades. After August 2021, India has already provided 17000 MT of Wheat out of a total commitment of 50000 MT, 500000 doses of Covaxin, and 13 tons of essential life saving medicines: Doval
The NSA highlighted need for representation of all sections of Afghan society including women and minorities so that the collective energies of the largest possible proportion of the Afghan population feel motivated to contribute to nation building
Nitin A. Gokhale Profile picture
Nitin A. Gokhale
Mar 25, 2022
India has expectedly told China it will be ready to resume SR level dialogue only after the immediate issues (read the Ladakh standoff) are resolved. This message was conveyed by NSA to visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Delhi today: sources

NSA told Wang: Need to take forward early and complete disengagement in remaining areas and remove impediments to allow the bilateral relationship to take its natural course
Continuation of present situation is not in mutual interest. Restoration of peace & tranquility will help build mutual trust and create enabling environment for progress in relations, Wang was told.
Nitin A. Gokhale Profile picture
Nitin A. Gokhale
Dec 26, 2021
Watched 83, first day second show, thanks to a friend’s planning. It was nostalgic, reliving the momentous victory that I had watched on a neighbour’s grainy b&w TV set more than 38 years ago. My career, my life is however more intimately connected to the aftermath of 83
Let me recall the events. I had joined the Guwahati-based The Sentinel as a trainee sports sub-editor in May 1983 to keep myself occupied until I could appear for the Combined Defence Services exam in December. Wanted to earn money while learning something new before joining IAF
For a lad not yet 21, those were heady days. I would leave home at 2 pm, watch the Gopinath Bordoloi football tournament matches played in Nehru stadium, reach office, write reports after reaching office and then get down to ‘making’ the sports page (last in the 8-page newspaper)
Nitin A. Gokhale Profile picture
Nitin A. Gokhale
Nov 5, 2021
Pentagon report on Chinese village in ‘Indian territory’ in Arunachal Pradesh conveniently omits the fact that the area has been under effective Chinese control since 1959. It is like saying China building military infrastructure in Aksai Chin (which is actually Indian territory)
Aksai Chin, like this area in Arunachal, was lost before 1962. Earlier Indian reports themselves mention this fact about Arunachal but Pentagon keeps it vague and allows people to start outraging without knowing full facts (ndtv.com/india-news/chi… and thehindu.com/news/internati…)
If China builds infrastructure in disputed (or Indian but Chinese-controlled territory since the late 1950s) what can India realistically do? Without a short skirmish, nothing. But it can build infrastructure in its own border areas which is what is being done for the past decade
Nitin A. Gokhale Profile picture
Nitin A. Gokhale
Nov 1, 2021
Major messaging: High Altitude Area Airborne Exercise Along Northern Borders currently on in Ladakh: army sources The 50 Para brigade of Indian Army started an Airborne insertion along the Northern Borders in Eastern Ladakh to validate its Rapid Response Capabilities.

Airborne troops were inserted to a Drop Zone at an altitude of 14000 feet plus. Pre-acclimatised troops along with specialist vehicles and missile detachments were transported via C-130 and AN 32 aircrafts from five different mounting bases to validate inter-theatre move: Sources

Precision stand-off drops, rapid grouping & capture of designated objs with speed & surprise. The drop was particularly challenging due to the low temperatures of upto minus 20 degrees and rarefied atmosphere in super high altitude terrain.

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