To continue with its expansionist agenda, China has now created a new border dispute with Bhutan, one of India’s ally. During a virtual meeting of the Global Environment Facility in June, Beijing objected to the grant for Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) in eastern Bhutan’s Trashigang district. This borders India and China and claimed that the location was disputed.
Even as the world is struggling with the pandemic, originated in China. Beijing has aggressively attempted to change the status quo in the East China Sea, South China Sea. Also, with India in Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh. As per the news, the GEF Council met to decide on funding. This refers to various environmental projects across the world. It was jolted by China’s objection and instantly denied and criticised it.
The GEF Council
Majority of the GEF council members agreed to Bhutan’s opinion. Also, the draft summary was approved by the council. Further, despite objection from the Chinese council member, the work programme was agreed upon. The council denied recording China’s justification for the opposition. They said that the footnote would only consider that China objected to the proposal. Moreover, the Chinese council member stated that he would need time to consult to decide on the matter.
The reasons were listed in the highlights of the discussion. These are a less formal record. The proposed summary of the chair stated in the footnote that China refused and does not join the Council decision on this proposal. The Bhutan government has since inducted a formal letter to the GEF Council. It strongly opposes the references questioning the sovereignty of Bhutan. Also, its territory on the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in the documents of the council’s meeting.
Bhutan’s Dispute With China
Bhutan has asked the GEF council to purge all references of China’s baseless claims from Council’s briefs. Bhutan and China have a long-standing border dispute since 1984. Talks of arbitration between Thimphu and Beijing have limited to three aspects of dispute (two in North Bhutan. This also includes Jakarlung and Pasamlung territories and one in West Bhutan). Also, Sakteng is not part of any of the three disputed regions.