Mon, 05 Jun 2023

New Delhi [India], April 4 (ANI): Amid China's efforts to push boundary talks with Bhutan, India on Tuesday said that follows all developments which have a bearing on the country's national interest and all necessary measures would be taken to safeguard the national interests.

"Government of India very closely follows all developments which have a bearing on our national interest and we would take all necessary measures to safeguard them as necessary," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said during media briefing on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck visit to India.

He was responding to a volley of questions including about Bhutan PM reported remarks about resolving the Doklam issue by involving China as a stakeholder and boundary talks between Bhurtan and China.

Moreover, the Congress said the recent utterances of Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering indicate that the unshakeable relationship between Bhutan and India is now facing a challenge from an aggressive China.

The remark by the Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering that "there is no intrusion" into Bhutan by China and that Beijing has an "equal" say in any discussion over its illegal intrusions raises several concerns.

India on Tuesday rejected attempts by China to rename 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh.

"We have seen such report. This is not the first time China has made such an attempt. We reject this outright," Arindam Bagchi, the external affairs ministry spokesperson, said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

"Arunachal Pradesh is, has been and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality," Bagchi said.

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs has standardised the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh, which it referred to as "Zangnan, the southern part of Tibet.

"China has come up with the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese characters, Tibetan and pinyin according to the rules on geographical names issued by the State Council, China's cabinet, Global Times reported.

The Ministry announced the names of 11 places on Sunday and also gave precise coordinates, including two residential areas, five mountain peaks, two rivers and two other areas. China's Ministry of Civil Affairs also listed the category of places' names and their subordinate administrative districts, as per the news report.

The move to rename 11 places comes just a week after India held a G20 meeting in Arunachal Pradesh on March 26 that China chose to skip.

Meanwhile, the Bhutanese King Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck is on an official visit to India that started Monday afternoon and will continue till Wednesday morning.

He is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other senior officers of the royal government of Bhutan.

Vinay Kwatra took a strong stance when asked if the Bhutan side mentioned anything about China to India.

Regarding the bilateral relations between India and Bhutan, Foriegn Secretary Kwatra said, "India and Bhutan share an exemplary relationship based on trust, goodwill and mutual understanding. It is a time-tested friendship that was reflected in the Covid Maitri program during the Covid-19 pandemic.""In the meeting between the PM Narendra Modi and the King of Bhutan, it was agreed that India would step up its support for Bhutan's upcoming 13th five-year plan," Kwatra added.

He said that India will work to extend an additional standby "credit facility" and will work to shape long-term sustainable arrangements for the export of agricultural commodities from Bhutan.

"We will also work to develop long-term bilateral arrangements for assured supply of critical commodities like petroleum, coal," he said.

During his meeting with the King of Bhutan today, PM Modi reiterated continued support for socio-economic reforms in Bhutan, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra added.

Kwatra said that this visit of "His Majesty has been long in the planning and it takes forward the "long-standing tradition of regular high-level exchanges between India and Bhutan just to sketch the outline frame of the cooperation between our two countries in the expansion of our partnership into some of the newly emerging areas and domains of economic cooperation which includes digital domain space, a new area, financial connectivity and increasing interoperability etc."Regarding the exchange of energy, Kwatra informed, "Hydropower, a strong element of cooperation between India and Bhutan most recently included handing over the 720-megawatt Mangda Chu hydroelectric power project to the Royal Government of Bhutan."His Majesty was last in Delhi during his transit visit in September 2022. At that time also he had a brief meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in terms of the program elements of His Majesty's ongoing, Kwatra added. (ANI)

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