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...India and Bhutan were the only two countries that did not participate in the first forum on BRI held in Beijing in May this year. This has irked China deeply. In fact, following India’s abstention, there arose disquieting voices in the European Union about China’s intentions on BRI. Notably, Bhutan does not have diplomatic relations with China but it shares a special relationship with India that takes care of its security needs. However, taking advantage of the disputed border with Bhutan, China thought to go ahead with its BRI. Apparently, the Chinese leadership had calculated that the road project would provide them the opportunity to coerce Bhutan into opening up diplomatic relations, and thereby, pulling Thimphu out from India’s orbit. Not to forget, for Bhutan, the greater threat is how to overcome the huge trade deficit with India and meet the economic crisis impending in the nation. ...TOI on Aug. 7, 2017, 2 a.m.