China now claims Bhutan’s territory, Thimphu counters Beijing’s move
In yet another new move to assert new land in Bhutan, China on the 58th meeting of the Global Environment Facility Council tried to “oppose” funding to a venture for the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary located in Bhutan saying that it was “disputed” territory.
In actuality, there has by no means been any dispute about where the sanctuary lay in the past, though the boundary between Bhutan and China is yet to be demarcated.
Bhutan sent a strong note to the consultant dealing with Bhutan. The note stated, “Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan.”
The attention-grabbing bit is that this wildlife sanctuary was by no means part of any international funding so the first time it has come up as a venture on the international platform, China grabbed it as a chance to put declare to the land.
Although objections have been raised and China opposed the move, the venture has been cleared by majority of the council members and finds space in the final abstract.
“Global, Bhutan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa: GEF -7 Global Wildlife Program – Addendum, World Bank, UNDP/ IUCN/ UNEP (GEF Program Financing: $16,922,937) (GEF ID: 1056134)”
While China had a consultant, Bhutan didn’t have a direct consultant and was represented by an Indian IAS officer Aparna Subramani from the World Bank in-charge of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka.
On June 2, when the project-wise dialogue was going down, Chinese Council member Zhongjing Wang, Deputy Director, International Economic and Financial Cooperation Department, China; raised objection to the venture in Bhutan asking it to be formally noted and duly attested in the footnote.
This is when the Indian officer talking on behalf of Bhutan, Aparna Subramani, government director, Indian Administrative Service, The World Bank, intervened and stated that the declare is not “unchallenged” and it might not be fair to go forward with the Chinese model until there may be readability on Bhutan’s stand.
When Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson of the 58th meeting of the GEF Council, tried to succeed in a middle ground by proposing that views of each the international locations be added to the highlights rather than the abstract as “objection” rather that “opposition”. But, the Chinese consultant was adamant since he didn’t have mandate to clear it and Beijing’s directions have been that it was to be opposed and be a part of the abstract.
While all different points have been adopted this one concern was mentioned a day later and at last the consensus of the council was that Bhutan would get funds for the venture and it was cleared under Bhutan’s name.
The objections have been added in the highlights as ‘Agenda Item 10 Summary of the Chair’.
“The textual content of the Summary of the Chair enjoyed consensus. One Council Member proposed an modification to Footnote 3. This modification didn’t obtain consensus. An alternative proposal was made that was accepted. The Summary of the Chair was adopted.”
The Council Member for the China constituency requested that its view be reflected as follows: “In light of the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in the venture ID 10561 is positioned in the China-Bhutan disputed areas which is on the agenda of China-Bhutan boundary talk, China opposes and doesn’t be part of the Council resolution on this venture.”
The Council Member for the Constituency of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka requested that the views of Bhutan be reflected as follows: “Bhutan completely rejects the claim made by the Council Member of China. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is an integral and sovereign territory of Bhutan and at no point during the boundary discussions between Bhutan and China has it featured as a disputed space.”
Bhutan rejected China’s claims and the council adopted the funding for Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary.