China respects Bhutan to conduct independent, peaceful diplomatic policies: visiting vice foreign minister

By Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/24 23:28:40

Chinese vice foreign minister completes Bhutan tour


Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said China respects Bhutan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity as he completed a three-day visit to the Himalayan country on Tuesday.

During the visit, Kong met Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and the country's foreign minister, Damcho Dorji, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.

China attaches great importance to the traditional friendship with Bhutan and will continue to respect Bhutan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Kong said.

China respects Bhutan's choice of political system and development road in accordance with its own conditions and respects Bhutan to conduct independent and peaceful diplomatic policies, he said.

China and Bhutan have no diplomatic relations. Kong's trip was the first high-level visit to Bhutan by a senior Chinese official since last year's border stand-off at Doklam, a region only 40 kilometers from Bhutan.

Some Indian media claimed on Tuesday that the timing of the visit was aimed at boosting China's influence in Bhutan where an election is pending.

"China respects another country's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, no matter large or small," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

"India has been seeing Bhutan as its orbit," Hu said. "So far Bhutan cannot completely get rid of India's influence on politics, economy, diplomacy and security."

"China hopes Bhutan could be independent in these respects like Nepal," Hu said.

Bhutan was welcome to participate in the Belt and Road initiative and share in China's development, Kong said.

During his visit Kong called on both sides to continue promoting border negotiation, adhere to the principles and consensus reached, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas to create positive conditions for the final settlement of the border issue, according to the foreign ministry.

"China's assistance to these countries like Bhutan is strenuously opposed by India even though it isn't capable of helping their development," Hu said.


Newspaper headline: Chinese vice foreign minister completes Bhutan tour


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