China and Bhutan have agreed to expedite talks in order to resolve their border issue with the signing of a positive consensus to settle the border dispute through a three-stage roadmap.
As per a joint statement from the two countries, the 11th Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the China-Bhutan boundary issue was held in Kunming city of China from January 10 to 13.
Both China and Bhutan have so far held 24 rounds of talks in a bid to resolve the border issue. They don't have diplomatic relations, but contacts are maintained through periodic visits by officials.
''The 11th Expert Group meeting, the two sides held in-depth discussions in a frank, cordial, and constructive atmosphere on a three-stage roadmap to accelerate the China-Bhutan boundary talks to implement the MoU,'' the statement added.
The statement further claimed that both sides have agreed to take forward the implementation of all phases of the three-phased roadmap simultaneously.
Besides this, both sides have also agreed to increase the pace of EGMs and maintain contact through diplomatic channels apart from agreeing to hold the 25th round of China-Bhutan boundary talks at the earliest.
Meanwhile, the two countries have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate China-Bhutan boundary talks in 2021, laying out a three-stage roadmap to speed up boundary talks and the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Xinaghao, who signed the agreement, said that he is confident that the MoU signed today will make a meaningful contribution to speed up border talks and promote the process of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.
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