Boundary with China under negotiation, it hasn't been demarcated: Bhutan

WION Web Team New Delhi Jul 07, 2020, 11.44 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( WION )

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The development comes amid reports of China claiming the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary

Bhutan said today that its boundary with China is "under negotiation" and hasn't been demarcated. 

"Twenty-four rounds of ministerial-level boundary talks have been held, the 25th round was delayed due to COVID-19," the Royal Bhutan embassy in India said in a statement.

"All disputed areas to be discussed in next round, to be held as soon as mutually convenient," it added. "The boundary between Bhutan-China is under negotiation and hasn't been demarcated," the statement said. 

The development comes amid reports of China claiming the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary which falls in the Trashi-gang district. China had objected to the sanctuary asserting that it was on its land and not part of Bhutan.

China said it was "disputed" and asserted its claim. "The Sakteng wildlife sanctuary is located in the China-Bhutan disputed areas which is on the agenda of China-Bhutan boundary talk" and "China opposes and does not join the council decision on this project," it said.

"The boundary between China and Bhutan has never been delimited," the Chinese foreign ministry had said earlier. Bhutan, on the other hand, had said that the sanctuary is an "integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan".

The two countries will now seek to resolve the issue over the next round of talks. The dates of the talks have not been communicated yet by the two countries.