Bhutan’s deputies to the National Assembly (the country’s Parliament) have expressed concern over the development along its borders with Tibet saying this is posing a threat to the country’s security.
According to reports from Bhutan, the National Assembly that has been meeting in the capital Thimphu since November 19, 2005 discussed the border issue concerning China on November 24, 2005. “The people’s representatives from Paro, Haa, Laya, Lunana, Zhemgang and Thimphu expressed their concern over the Bhutan-China border issue. They said that it was posing a threat to the country’s security,” reported the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS).
Deputies raised the issue of easy entrance for “Chinese” into Bhutan on account of melting of glaciers along the border.
“The Chimis from Paro, Haa and Zhemgang expressed their concern over the construction of roads by the Chinese along the northern border areas. The Chimis said that of the six kilometers, about four kilometers were crossing into the Bhutanese territory. The Chimis said that the road constructions were not carried out in line with the 1988 guiding principles of settlement of boundary and the 1998 agreement for maintaining peace and tranquility in the Bhutan-China border,” according to BBS.
Responding on behalf of the Government, Bhutan?s Secretary for International Boundaries, Dasho Pema Wangchuck said that concerns were expressed during the meeting with the Chinese held in Thimphu earlier this year. “He said that the Chinese responded saying that Bhutan was overreacting. They said that the road constructions were carried out for economic development of western China, which included Tibet,” BBS reported.
The secretary also informed the Assembly that Bhutan and China exchanged and examined each other’s maps and found large differences in the claim lines.
According to BBS, “The governments, he said, agreed to narrow down the differences before finalizing and exchanging the maps. The Chinese said that they were willing to consider some adjustments. However, they said that Bhutan was claiming more than possible, Dasho Pema Wangchuk added.”
Dasho Wangchuk said that another round of Expert Group meeting would be held in Beijing soon followed by the ministerial level meeting. The house resolved that the talks to be conducted as soon as possible and that results to be submitted in the next session.
The National Assembly is the highest legislative and policy making body in Bhutan. All laws and by-laws and matters of national importance are debated and adopted by the National Assembly.