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

    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.

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    The formal coronation of Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk as the fifth King of Bhutan in November 2008 concluded the first wave of democratization in Bhutan.

    April 06, 2010

    Dams in Arunachal Pradesh: Between Development Debates and Strategic Dimensions

    Dam building in Arunachal Pradesh should not be perceived as an insurmountable irritant, but rather as a sign of a vibrant Indian democracy.

    February 01, 2010

    Sino-Bhutan Boundary Negotiations: Complexities of the ‘Package Deal’

    Bhutan and China have decided on a joint field survey to enable harmonising the reference points and names of the disputed areas.

    January 19, 2010

    Indo-Bhutan Joint Action against Insurgents

    Indian insurgent groups are re-establishing camps in Bhutan and are also forging links with Bhutanese rebel groups.

    October 05, 2009

    Bhutan in Focus

    The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is in sharp focus now. This is due to two critical factors: Bhutan's assertion of its identity and Beijing's tactics in the Himalayan region. Both factors have had an impact in the ordering of Indo-Bhutanese relations.

    September 2008