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Arnab Dasgupta asked: Are there chances for Bhutan falling into Beijing's bag as was the case of Nepal?

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  • Medha Bisht replies: History is witness to the fact that Bhutan and India have always shared a robust relationship that encompasses trade and economics as well. Indeed, India is the largest trade partner of Bhutan and has greatly assisted Bhutan in its development goals. Moreover given the geographical context, India is a natural market for Bhutan in its hydal sector. This is important as export of hydro-electricity to India is a primary source of revenue generation. Having said this, I would argue that given this natural proclivity and inter-dependence between Bhutan and India, there are fewer chances for the Chinese having strategic leverage inside Bhutan.

    However one should keep in mind that China and Bhutan share a boundary dispute and border issues have provided Beijing a vital platform to engage Bhutan. India needs to be vigilant over the developments regarding the boundary issue as the North-Western boundary which China wants from Bhutan (particularly the Chumbi Valley) is an area of strategic interest to India.