The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North

The Sorry Saga of Bhutan's North
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bhutan China Relationship

Wen Jiabao Meets with His Bhutanese Counterpart Jigmi Y. Thinley


On June 21, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with his Bhutanese counterpart, Jigmi Y. Thinley, in Rio de Janeiro.
Wen said China and Bhutan, as neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, enjoy time-honored ties in history and culture and have maintained friendly exchanges. Wen said China highly appreciates Bhutan's staunch support of China's position on major issues concerning Taiwan and Tibet. China, Wen said, also values the traditional friendship between the two nations and respects Bhutan's choice for its development path according to its own national conditions. Noting that China pursues a foreign policy of building a good-neighborly relationship and partnership with its neighbors, Wen said China is ready to forge formal diplomatic relations with Bhutan on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Meanwhile, Wen said, China is willing to complete border demarcation with Bhutan at an early date and strengthen exchanges in various fields so as to push bilateral ties to a higher level.
For his part, Thinley said his talks with Wen carry great historic significance as it marks the first meeting between the heads of the two governments. The Bhutanese, he said, admire the great achievements China has made and highly appreciate China's endeavor to safeguard the common interests of developing countries in international and regional affairs. Bhutan firmly sticks to the one-China policy and has strong desire to strengthen understanding of and friendship with China, Thinley said. He confirmed that Bhutan wishes to forge formal diplomatic ties with China as soon as possible. Bhutan is willing to settle border issues with China in a cooperative manner, enhance bilateral economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and carry out close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, said Thinley.

China, Bhutan Hold the 19th Round of Border Talks


China and Bhutan the 19th round of border talks in Bhutan held from Jan. 11 to 13 . Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue held talks with head of Bhutan's delegation, Minister of Economic Affairs Khandu Wangchuk in a friendly and frank atmosphere. Hu also met with the 4th King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuk and Prime Minister Jigme Thinley during his stay in Bhutan.
Hu delivered the new year greetings of Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to Bhutan's leaders. He said China highly cherishes its traditional friendship with Bhutan, and is willing to increase friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation and push forward friendly relationship of good neighborliness with Bhutan in a continuous, stable and healthy way on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. Hu said China hopes the two sides continue friendly consultations on the basis of the past talks, and seek a just and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides, in order to turn China-Bhutan border into a bridge of friendship.
The Bhutanese leaders said Bhutan highly evaluates the tremendous achievements China has made in its development, and said Bhutan attaches great importance to its relationship with China and is dedicated to solving the border issue with China as soon as possible. The Bhutanese government is firmly committed to the one-China policy and is willing to work with China to push forward exchanges and cooperation in all fields.
Tang Jiaxuan Meets with Bhutanese Minister of Foreign Affairs


On August 16, 2006, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan met with Bhutanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Khandu Wangchuk in Ziguangge, Zhongnanhai.
Tang said although China and Bhutan have not established diplomatic ties, the two nations always enjoy harmonious relations with mutual respect and equal treatment. Tang said China appreciates Bhutan's adherence to the one-China policy in the past years, noting that China is ready to build and push forward the long-term, stable good-neighborly relations of friendly cooperation with Bhutan in line with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Tang emphasized the Chinese government is wiling to resolve the boundary issue with Bhutan at an early date through friendly consultations in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation, so that the China-Bhutan boundary will become a bridge between the two nations to promote good-neighborly cooperation.
Wangchuk said Bhutan values the relations with China, always sticks to the one-China policy, and is ready to continue conducting friendly exchanges and cooperation with China based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. He said Bhutan is ready to make efforts for the early resolution of the boundary issue in the spirit of mutual understanding and accommodation.
On the same day, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with Wangchuk and his delegation and Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei held the 18th talks on China-Bhutan boundary issue with him. Wangchuk was here in China for the talks on China-Bhutan boundary issue at the invitation of Li Zhaoxing.
Premier Zhu Rongji Met with Bhutanese Foreign Minister Lyonpo Jigme Yoeser Thinley


On the afternoon of October 14, 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji met with Bhutanese Foreign Minister Lyonpo Jigme Yoeser Thinley, who was in Beijing for the 16th round of China-Bhutan boundary talks, at Ziguangge, Zhongnanhai.

Zhu said that China and Bhutan are connected by mountains and waters, and have close historical ties. The two peoples have profound friendship. China-Bhutan relations have developed smoothly in recent years and the border areas have remained peaceful and harmonious. Cooperation in all areas is progressing well. China appreciates the Bhutanese government's support on the issues like Taiwan and human rights.

Zhu said that the Chinese government respects Bhutan's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and hopes to develop cooperative relations based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. The two countries have conducted 16 rounds of boundary talks and reached a broad scope of consensus. It is believed that in the principle of mutual accommodation and understanding, the boundary issue between China and Bhutan will be solved successfully.

Thinley thanked Zhu for the meeting amid the latter's busy schedule. He said that our two countries are connected by the Himalayas. Common border has made our exchanges easier. We should further strengthen exchanges and promote understanding. Thinley reiterated Bhutan's consistent stand on the issues of Taiwan and human rights and emphasized that Bhutan would continue to firmly support China on these issues.

Thinley sincerely wished, on behalf of the Bhutanese government, the upcoming 16th Congress of the Communist Party of China a complete success. He expressed the belief that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, China will achieve more prosperity, which is conducive to world stability and development.

Thinley conveyed to President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji the cordial greetings and good wishes from His Majesty King Wangchuk. Zhu also asked Thinley to convey President Jiang's and his own greetings to King Wangchuk.

Before the meeting, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan held talks with Thinley on bilateral relations and other international and regional issues of common concern. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi held official talks with Thinley on boundary issues.