Scholars at Epardafas.com said that China’s act of escalating territorial disputes could be a way to “punish” Bhutan for aligning with India. Beijing thought that Thimphu’s foreign policy for their country was influenced by New Delhi’s dominance and control.
China and Bhutan used to get along well, but since Beijing took over Tibet in 1949, things have gotten worse. The situation got worse when Mao Zedong, the leader of China, said that Bhutan was part of China. The new maps that China made in 1954 and 1958 and the illegal occupation of 300 square miles of Bhutanese land made people even more worried that China wanted to take over Bhutan.
During that time, India helped by sending its Military Training Team (IMTRAT) to Bhutan in 1961 to train the Bhutanese security forces. Since then, India has been keeping the country safe. A Nepal-based online magazine called Epardafas.com says that the Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese forces in 2017 has made security even more important. It also says that Indian and Bhutanese forces need to work together and coordinate even better to protect strategic areas.
Bhutan and India have good relations that are good for both countries. epardafas.com said that India has helped a lot in many different areas, such as hydropower, trade, education, and social and economic development. And India has been a market for Bhutan’s exports, giving it money by buying hydroelectricity, semi-finished products, ferrosilicon, and dolomite.
Epardafas.com said that the main relationship between India and Bhutan has been about making hydroelectricity, since both countries have agreed to build a 10,000-megawatt hydroelectricity project in Bhutan. Even though building the 720 MW Mangdechhu hydropower project is a success. Because of this, the 600 MW Kholongchhu hydroelectric project has moved forward. This is so that Bhutan can collect its extra hydroelectricity and sell it to India. This will give Bhutan jobs and money.
India will give grants worth Rupees 4,500 crores and a transitional Trade Support Facility worth Rupees 400 crores in the field of education from 2018 to 2023. This will strengthen economic ties. epardafas.com said that when the India-Bhutan satellite is launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), it will send back real-time data and high-resolution images that can be used for mapping land and taking care of natural resources.
India and Bhutan have also worked together on a number of other projects, such as RuPay, the connection of Bhutan’s DrukREN to India’s national Knowledge Network, and the building of ISRO’s Ground Earth Station so that South Asia Satellite can be used. All of this has been good for Bhutan in terms of security, hydropower, trade and commerce, security and intelligence sharing, education, culture, space, and technology. The strong relationship between India and Bhutan is based on a treaty signed in 1949.
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