China takes more land in Bhutan before expected border deal

After images reveal new Chinese building on its territory, Bhutan is closing on a border agreement with China that may alarm India, write John Pollock and Damien Symon.

The World Today
Published 1 December 2023 Updated 20 December 2023 2 minute READ

Damien Symon

Geo-intelligence researcher, The Intel Lab

China has continued its unsanctioned programme of settlement construction across the contested border with Bhutan in the small kingdom’s Himalayan north, according to satellite imagery from September.

The new outposts in Bhutan’s remote Jakarlung Valley, part of the Beyul Khenpajong region, may become permanent Chinese territory after an announcement on a border deal between the two countries expected soon. It is thought that Bhutan, in a major concession, will give up the land that China has seized in both Jakarlung and the neighbouring Menchuma Valley.

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