• Why in News- As Bhutan’s fifth King Jigme 
  • Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck arrives in Delhi at the invitation of President Droupadi Murmu, all eyes will be on his talks with the Prime Minister, and any possible discussions on the progress in Bhutan­ China border talks.
  • While the Bhutanese King met Mr. Modi in September last year, when he stopped over in Delhi on his way to attend British Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, this is the first such high ­level meeting between the two leaders since Bhutan and China’s talks on their boundary made rapid progress. 
  • India wary 
  • In October 2021, Bhutan and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a “three­ step roadmap” to expedite border resolution talks. 
  • The discussion centres on two valleys to Bhutan’s north and the Doklam area to the west of Bhutan, close to the trijunction with India, which was the site of a stand­offbetween Indian and Chinese forces in 2017. 
  • India has been particularly watchful of any possibility of a “swap agreement” between the two countries that could affect its security at the trijunction.  
  • In January 2023, Bhutan and China held talks in Kunming, and reached a “positive consensus” on how to move forward with the talks. 
  • While on a visit to Europe last week, Dr. Lotay Tshering, the PM of Bhutan, told a Belgian newspaper that he hoped to complete boundary demarcation talks on disputed areas in the next “one or two more meetings” and that a visit by a Chinese “technical team” was expected shortly in Bhutan. 
  • The Bhutanese PM’s comments on discussing the Doklam trijunction dispute “trilaterally”, with Bhutan, India and China as “equal” interlocutors, set off a storm in Delhi.
  • India’s support to Bhutan’s 5-Year Plans: Apart from thus, the leaders are expected to discuss India’s support to Bhutan for its five year plans. 
  • At present, the Indian government’s assistance towards Bhutan’s 12th five year plan (2018­23) amounts to ₹4,500 crore.

Doklam Controversy

  • Doklam is also known as Donglong area of the Sikkim sector. 
  • China was constructing a motorable road from Dokola towards Bhutan army camp. It affects the boundary between the two countries. 
  • Bhutan asked Beijing to restore the status quo by stopping the work. 
  • Donglong is a tri-junction area near the Chumbi Valley.
  • It is under China’s control; however, Bhutan claims sovereignty over the area.
  • Both have written agreements during 1988 and 1998, stating that the two sides agree to maintain tranquillity in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question.
  • It was also decided to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March, 1959.

India’s intervention

  • Unique position of Chumbi valley which is close to the slender Siliguri corridor and a dangerous choke point.
  • This is over the interests and rights of the third country, Bhutan and it also indicates wider competition for influence over smaller countries in the region.