News-CRUX-10     7th November 2023        
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Context: Recently, India and Bhutan have made the decision to enhance cross-border linkages by expanding bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade, technology, cross-border connectivity, mutual investments, education, and people-to-people connections.

Key Points

  • Both Countries discussed expanding partnership in various areas, including connectivity, trade infrastructure, mutual investments, energy, health, education, skill development, space technology, and environment conservation.
  • They decided to conduct the Final Location Survey for a proposed cross-border rail link connecting Kokraj and Hashimara, in consultation with Bhutan.
  • The goal is to strengthen cross-border trade and cooperation, fostering close people-to-people connections between India and Bhutan.

Significance of Bhutan to India

  • Buffer to China: Bhutan serves as a buffer state between India and China, sharing a border with China. 
  • Its strategic location is crucial for India's security interests.
  • Vital Connectivity: The Chumbi Valley, located at the tri-junction of Bhutan, India, and China, is vital for India's connectivity as it lies close to the "Chicken's neck" in North Bengal.
  • Security in North-East: Bhutan has cooperated with India in addressing security concerns in India's north-eastern region by assisting in flushing out militant groups.
  • Chinese Inroad: China is interested in establishing diplomatic relations with Bhutan and has territorial claims in western Bhutan. India's close relationship with Bhutan is essential to counter Chinese influence.
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