Bhutan: the ‘Missing’ Piece of the Puzzle

Jabin T. Jacob, PhD, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

In the latest faceoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area, the role and place of Bhutan has been easily overlooked. It is the Bhutanese after all that are contending with Chinese over the area and it is they who invited the Indians to take up cudgels on their behalf against the Chinese.

Bhutan is, in many respects, probably India’s only genuine ally in the region and this too, is largely the result of that country’s unique political history and development. The Bhutanese monarchy has played a key role in nurturing a close and beneficial relationship with India and India has in large measure reciprocated. While a tiny country, Bhutan has always been favoured with fairly senior and always competent Indian ambassadors in its capital and maintains the Indian Military Training Team in support of the Bhutanese army. Also worth remembering is the fact that it was to Bhutan that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first official foreign visit after taking office.

That said, India should simply count itself lucky that it has managed to maintain a special place for itself in Bhutan’s international affairs for such a long time despite the vagaries of international politics. Continue reading “Bhutan: the ‘Missing’ Piece of the Puzzle”

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2016 LegCo Election Results: Implications for Hong Kong-China Relations

Donald Lee,  former research intern at the Institute of Chinese Studies.

The Hong Kong 2016 Legislative Council (LegCo) election took place on 4 September and was the first election after 2014 Umbrella Movement. This article addresses two questions. First, it examines three keys issues in LegCo Election 2016. Second, it looks at the implications of the election result for the Mainland China-Hong Kong relationship.

The LegCo consists of 70 Members, with 35 of them coming from geographical constituencies through direct elections and equal participation of Hong Kong permanent citizens and, 35 Members from Functional Constituencies with different voting basis in different subsectors.[1] Continue reading “2016 LegCo Election Results: Implications for Hong Kong-China Relations”