Digging its own grave by coming under the world’s scrutiny, China has now erected a new border dispute with India’s traditional ally Bhutan.
It is being reported that China, in the first week of June, at a virtual meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) refused to give a grant for Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), that is being erected in eastern Bhutan’s Trashigang district, claiming that the location where it is being built is disputed.
GEF council is a body that meets occasionally to decide the funding for various environmental projects. And when China put the claim in front of the body, the GEF council was quick to rubbish it.
The majority of the GEF members stood beside Bhutan and despite China’s bragging, the council adopted the work program and put out funds for it. China, indeed, wanted to explain itself in the meeting by the council didn’t allow it and said that the footnote would only record that China objected to the project.
The draft summary of the chair mentioned in the footnote that “China abstains and does not join the Council decision on this project.”
In reaction, Bhutan was also quick to brush off China’s statement and issued a formal letter to the GEF council strongly opposing China’s claims saying, “Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan.”
China and Bhutan do have border disputes since 1984 in two parts of North Bhutan –Jakarlung and Pasamlung areas — and one in West Bhutan. Sakteng is not a part of any of these three disputed areas