The Foreign Minister Lyonpo Dr Tandi Dorji and the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Wu Jianghao signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Three-Step Roadmap for Expediting the Bhutan-China Boundary Negotiations. The MoU was signed in a virtual signing ceremony on 14th October 2021.
Briefing the media, the Foreign Secretary Kinga Singye said the signing of the MoU on the Three-Step Roadmap’s purpose is to expedite the Bhutan-China boundary negotiations.
He said, “The MoU is an important milestone in the boundary negotiations which began in 1984 and now after 37 years, 24 rounds of boundary talks and 10 meetings at the expert group level we have now reached a stage where we are able to agree on the road map which contains three steps which expedites the whole process.”
He said the expert group meeting was held last April in Kunming and the two sides discussed details on how to expedite the boundary negotiations and in the process an agreement was reached between the two sides on the Three-Step Roadmap.
This was put up for approval to the two governments and the following the approval of the two governments the MoU was signed on 14th October.
The Three-Step Roadmap will build on the 1988 Guiding Principles and help to expedite the ongoing boundary negotiations. The MoU will provide a fresh impetus to the Boundary Talks.
The Foreign Secretary said the three stop road map is a positive development in the Bhutan- China boundary talks as it will enable the two sides to have more focused and systematic discussions on the boundary in the spirit of goodwill, understanding, and accommodation.
He said it will enable to conduct the negotiations more systemically and frequently.
He said the two sides agreed on the roadmap and the two sides should be able to reach an agreement on the pending issues and bring the boundary negotiations to a successful conclusion acceptable to both the countries.
The Secretary said the the boundary talks have always been held in a frank and friendly atmosphere and Bhutan is confident that with mutual understanding and accommodation the Bhutan-China boundary will be successfully demarcated.
The negotiations have been guided by the 1988 Joint Communique on the Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the Boundary and the 1998 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace, Tranquility and status quo in the Bhutan-China Border Areas.
It is expected that the implementation of this Roadmap in a spirit of goodwill, understanding and accommodation will bring the boundary negotiations to a successful conclusion that is acceptable to both sides said a release.
The Memorandum of Understanding will be exchanged between the two sides through diplomatic channel.