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China vs. Bhutan

Introduction

ChinaBhutan
Background

China's historical civilization dates from at least 1200 B.C.; from the 3rd century B.C. and for the next two millennia, China alternated between periods of unity and disunity under a succession of imperial dynasties. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the country was beset by civil unrest, major famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Chinese Communist Party under MAO Zedong established an autocratic socialist system that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978, MAO's successor DENG Xiaoping and other leaders focused on market-oriented economic development and by 2000 output had quadrupled. For much of the population, living standards have improved dramatically but political controls remain tight. Since the early 1990s, China has increased its global outreach and participation in international organizations.

Following Britain’s victory in the 1865 Duar War, Britain and Bhutan signed the Treaty of Sinchulu, under which Bhutan would receive an annual subsidy in exchange for ceding land to British India. Ugyen WANGCHUCK - who had served as the de facto ruler of an increasingly unified Bhutan and had improved relations with the British toward the end of the 19th century - was named king in 1907. Three years later, a treaty was signed whereby the British agreed not to interfere in Bhutanese internal affairs, and Bhutan allowed Britain to direct its foreign affairs. Bhutan negotiated a similar arrangement with independent India in 1949. The Indo-Bhutanese Treaty of Friendship returned to Bhutan a small piece of the territory annexed by the British, formalized the annual subsidies the country received, and defined India's responsibilities in defense and foreign relations. Under a succession of modernizing monarchs beginning in the 1950s, Bhutan joined the UN in 1971 and slowly continued its engagement beyond its borders.

In 2005, King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK unveiled the draft of Bhutan's first constitution - which introduced major democratic reforms - and held a national referendum for its approval. The King abdicated the throne in 2006 in favor of his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK. In 2007, India and Bhutan renegotiated their treaty, eliminating the clause that stated that Bhutan would be "guided by" India in conducting its foreign policy, although Thimphu continues to coordinate closely with New Delhi. In 2008, Bhutan held its first parliamentary election in accordance with the constitution. Bhutan experienced a peaceful turnover of power following a parliamentary election in 2013, which resulted in the defeat of the incumbent party. In 2018, the incumbent party again lost the parliamentary election. Of the more than 100,000 ethnic Nepali - predominantly Lhotshampa - refugees who fled or were forced out of Bhutan in the 1990s, about 6,500 remain displaced in Nepal.

Geography

ChinaBhutan
LocationEastern Asia, bordering the East China Sea, Korea Bay, Yellow Sea, and South China Sea, between North Korea and VietnamSouthern Asia, between China and India
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 105 00 E27 30 N, 90 30 E
Map referencesAsiaAsia
Areatotal: 9,596,960 sq km

land: 9,326,410 sq km

water: 270,550 sq km
total: 38,394 sq km

land: 38,394 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than the USslightly larger than Maryland; about one-half the size of Indiana
Land boundariestotal: 22,457 km

border countries (14): Afghanistan 91 km, Bhutan 477 km, Burma 2129 km, India 2659 km, Kazakhstan 1765 km, North Korea 1352 km, Kyrgyzstan 1063 km, Laos 475 km, Mongolia 4630 km, Nepal 1389 km, Pakistan 438 km, Russia (northeast) 4133 km and Russia (northwest) 46 km, Tajikistan 477 km, Vietnam 1297 km
total: 1,136 km

border countries (2): China 477 km, India 659 km
Coastline14,500 km0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
none (landlocked)
Climateextremely diverse; tropical in south to subarctic in northvaries; tropical in southern plains; cool winters and hot summers in central valleys; severe winters and cool summers in Himalayas
Terrainmostly mountains, high plateaus, deserts in west; plains, deltas, and hills in eastmostly mountainous with some fertile valleys and savanna
Elevation extremeshighest point: Mount Everest (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level) 8,849 m

lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m

mean elevation: 1,840 m
highest point: Gangkar Puensum 7,570 m

lowest point: Drangeme Chhu 97 m

mean elevation: 2,220 m
Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, helium, petroleum, natural gas, arsenic, bismuth, cobalt, cadmium, ferrosilicon, gallium, germanium, hafnium, indium, lithium, mercury, tantalum, tellurium, tin, titanium, tungsten, antimony, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, selenium, strontium, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth elements, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest), arable landtimber, hydropower, gypsum, calcium carbonate
Land useagricultural land: 54.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.3% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 41.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 22.3% (2018 est.)

other: 23% (2018 est.)
agricultural land: 13.6% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 10.7% (2018 est.)

forest: 85.5% (2018 est.)

other: 0.9% (2018 est.)
Irrigated land690,070 sq km (2012)320 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards

frequent typhoons (about five per year along southern and eastern coasts); damaging floods; tsunamis; earthquakes; droughts; land subsidence

volcanism: China contains some historically active volcanoes including Changbaishan (also known as Baitoushan, Baegdu, or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun although most have been relatively inactive in recent centuries

violent storms from the Himalayas are the source of the country's Bhutanese name, which translates as Land of the Thunder Dragon; frequent landslides during the rainy season
Environment - current issuesair pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain; China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water shortages, particularly in the north; water pollution from untreated wastes; coastal destruction due to land reclamation, industrial development, and aquaculture; deforestation and habitat destruction; poor land management leads to soil erosion, landslides, floods, droughts, dust storms, and desertification; trade in endangered speciessoil erosion; limited access to potable water; wildlife conservation; industrial pollution; waste disposal
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - notenote 1: world's fourth largest country (after Russia, Canada, and US) and largest country situated entirely in Asia; Mount Everest on the border with Nepal is the world's tallest peak above sea level

note 2: the largest cave chamber in the world is the Miao Room, in the Gebihe cave system at China's Ziyun Getu He Chuandong National Park, which encloses some 10.78 million cu m (380.7 million cu ft) of volume

note 3: China appears to have been the center of domestication for two of the world's leading cereal crops: millet in the north along the Yellow River and rice in the south along the lower or middle Yangtze River
landlocked; strategic location between China and India; controls several key Himalayan mountain passes
Total renewable water resources2,840,220,000,000 cubic meters (2017 est.)78 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Demographics

ChinaBhutan
Population1,397,897,720 (July 2021 est.)857,423 (July 2021 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.29% (male 129,296,339/female 111,782,427)

15-24 years: 11.48% (male 86,129,841/female 73,876,148)

25-54 years: 46.81% (male 333,789,731/female 318,711,557)

55-64 years: 12.08% (male 84,827,645/female 83,557,507)

65 years and over: 12.34% (male 81,586,490/female 90,458,292) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 24.52% (male 98,113/female 93,740)

15-24 years: 17.77% (male 70,768/female 68,211)

25-54 years: 44.72% (male 184,500/female 165,374)

55-64 years: 6.39% (male 26,714/female 23,280)

65 years and over: 6.6% (male 26,797/female 24,821) (2020 est.)
Median agetotal: 38.4 years

male: 37.5 years

female: 39.4 years (2020 est.)
total: 29.1 years

male: 29.6 years

female: 28.6 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate0.26% (2021 est.)0.99% (2021 est.)
Birth rate11.3 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)16.17 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Death rate8.26 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)6.28 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Net migration rate-0.43 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.11 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.16 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.17 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female

total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.12 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.08 male(s)/female

total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 11.15 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 11.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
total: 35.99 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 38.49 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 33.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.31 years

male: 74.23 years

female: 78.62 years (2021 est.)
total population: 71.5 years

male: 70.1 years

female: 72.98 years (2021 est.)
Total fertility rate1.6 children born/woman (2021 est.)1.8 children born/woman (2021 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA0.2% (2020)
Nationalitynoun: Chinese (singular and plural)

adjective: Chinese
noun: Bhutanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Bhutanese
Ethnic groupsHan Chinese 91.6%, Zhuang 1.3%, other (includes Hui, Manchu, Uighur, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Tibetan, Mongol, Dong, Buyei, Yao, Bai, Korean, Hani, Li, Kazakh, Dai, and other nationalities) 7.1% (2010 est.)

note: the Chinese Government officially recognizes 56 ethnic groups
Ngalop (also known as Bhote) 50%, ethnic Nepali 35% (predominantly Lhotshampas), indigenous or migrant tribes 15%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA1,300 (2020)
Religionsfolk religion 21.9%, Buddhist 18.3%, Christian 5.2%, Muslim 2%, Hindu < 0.1%, Jewish < 0.1%, other 0.7% (includes Daoist (Taoist)), unaffiliated 51.8% (2020 est.)

note: officially atheist
Lamaistic Buddhist 75.3%, Indian- and Nepali-influenced Hinduism 22.1%, other 2.6% (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA<100 (2020)
LanguagesStandard Chinese or Mandarin (official; Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry); note - Zhuang is official in Guangxi Zhuang, Yue is official in Guangdong, Mongolian is official in Nei Mongol, Uighur is official in Xinjiang Uygur, Kyrgyz is official in Xinjiang Uygur, and Tibetan is official in Xizang (Tibet)

major-language sample(s):
????  –  ??????????? (Mandarin)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Sharchopkha 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26% (includes foreign languages) (2005 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96.8%

male: 98.5%

female: 95.2% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 66.6%

male: 75%

female: 57.1% (2017)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2015)
total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 14 years (2018)
Education expendituresNA6.9% of GDP (2018)
Urbanizationurban population: 62.5% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.78% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note: data do not include Hong Kong and Macau
urban population: 43% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 2.52% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved: urban: 97.7% of population

rural: 87.8% of population

total: 92.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.3% of population

rural: 12.2% of population

total: 7.2% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 99.3% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 99.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.7% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0.3% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved: urban: 97.1% of population

rural: 82% of population

total: 90.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 2.4% of population

rural: 18% of population

total: 9.3% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 87.5% of population

rural: 72.1% of population

total: 78.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 12.5% of population

rural: 27.9% of population

total: 21.7% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population27.796 million Shanghai, 20.897 million BEIJING (capital), 16.382 million Chongqing, 13.794 million Tianjin, 13.635 million Guangzhou, 12.592 million Shenzhen (2021)203,000 THIMPHU (capital) (2018)
Maternal mortality rate29 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)183 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight2.4% (2013)12.7% (2010)
Health expenditures5.4% (2018)3.1% (2018)
Physicians density1.98 physicians/1,000 population (2017)0.42 physicians/1,000 population (2018)
Hospital bed density4.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)1.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate6.2% (2016)6.4% (2016)
Contraceptive prevalence rate84.5% (2017)65.6% (2010)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 42.2

youth dependency ratio: 25.2

elderly dependency ratio: 17

potential support ratio: 5.9 (2020 est.)

data do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan
total dependency ratio: 45.1

youth dependency ratio: 36.1

elderly dependency ratio: 9

potential support ratio: 11.1 (2020 est.)

Government

ChinaBhutan
Country nameconventional long form: People's Republic of China

conventional short form: China

local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

local short form: Zhongguo

abbreviation: PRC

etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation" or "Middle Kingdom"
conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan

conventional short form: Bhutan

local long form: Druk Gyalkhap

local short form: Druk Yul

etymology: named after the Bhotia, the ethnic Tibetans who migrated from Tibet to Bhutan; "Bod" is the Tibetan name for their land; the Bhutanese name "Druk Yul" means "Land of the Thunder Dragon"
Government typecommunist party-led stateconstitutional monarchy
Capitalname: Beijing

geographic coordinates: 39 55 N, 116 23 E

time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: China is the largest country (in terms of area) with just one time zone; before 1949 it was divided into five

etymology: the Chinese meaning is "Northern Capital"
name: Thimphu

geographic coordinates: 27 28 N, 89 38 E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the origins of the name are unclear; the traditional explanation, dating to the 14th century, is that "thim" means "dissolve" and "phu" denotes "high ground" to express the meaning of "dissolving high ground," in reference to a local deity that dissolved before a traveler's eyes, becoming a part of the rock on which the present city stands
Administrative divisions

23 provinces (sheng, singular and plural), 5 autonomous regions (zizhiqu, singular and plural), and 4 municipalities (shi, singular and plural)

provinces: Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang; (see note on Taiwan)

autonomous regions: Guangxi, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), Ningxia, Xinjiang Uyghur, Xizang (Tibet)

municipalities: Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin



note: China considers Taiwan its 23rd province; see separate entries for the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

20 districts (dzongkhag, singular and plural); Bumthang, Chhukha, Dagana, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Mongar, Paro, Pemagatshel, Punakha, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse, Sarpang, Thimphu, Trashigang, Trashi Yangtse, Trongsa, Tsirang, Wangdue Phodrang, Zhemgang
Independence1 October 1949 (People's Republic of China established); notable earlier dates: 221 B.C. (unification under the Qin Dynasty); 1 January 1912 (Qing Dynasty replaced by the Republic of China)17 December 1907 (became a unified kingdom under its first hereditary king); 8 August 1949 (Treaty of Friendship with India maintains Bhutanese independence)
National holidayNational Day (anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949)National Day (Ugyen WANGCHUCK became first hereditary king), 17 December (1907)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest promulgated 4 December 1982

amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress or supported by more than one fifth of the National People’s Congress membership; passage requires more than two-thirds majority vote of the Congress membership; amended several times, last in 2018
history: previous governing documents were various royal decrees; first constitution drafted November 2001 to March 2005, ratified 18 July 2008

amendments: proposed as a motion by simple majority vote in a joint session of Parliament; passage requires at least a three-fourths majority vote in a joint session of the next Parliament and assent by the king
Legal systemcivil law influenced by Soviet and continental European civil law systems; legislature retains power to interpret statutes; note - on 28 May 2020, the National People's Congress adopted the PRC Civil Code, which codifies personal relations and property relationscivil law based on Buddhist religious law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013); Vice President WANG Qishan (since 17 March 2018)

head of government: Premier LI Keqiang (since 16 March 2013); Executive Vice Premiers HAN Zheng (since 19 March 2018), SUN Chunlan (since 19 March 2018), LIU He (since 19 March 2018), HU Chunhua (since 19 March 2018)

cabinet: State Council appointed by National People's Congress

elections/appointments: president and vice president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (no term limits); election last held on 17 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023); premier nominated by president, confirmed by National People's Congress

election results: XI Jinping reelected president; National People's Congress vote - 2,970 (unanimously); WANG Qishan elected vice president with 2,969 votes
chief of state: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel WANGCHUCK (since 14 December 2006); note - King Jigme Singye WANGCHUCK abdicated the throne on 14 December 2006 to his son

head of government: Prime Minister Lotay TSHERING (since 7 November 2018)

cabinet: Council of Ministers or Lhengye Zhungtshog members nominated by the monarch in consultation with the prime minister and approved by the National Assembly; members serve 5-year terms

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary but can be removed by a two-thirds vote of Parliament; leader of the majority party in Parliament is nominated as the prime minister, appointed by the monarch
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National People's Congress or Quanguo Renmin Daibiao Dahui (maximum of 3,000 seats; members indirectly elected by municipal, regional, and provincial people's congresses, and the People's Liberation Army; members serve 5-year terms); note - in practice, only members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), its 8 allied independent parties, and CCP-approved independent candidates are elected

elections: last held in December 2017-February 2018 (next to be held in late 2022 to early 2023)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 2,238, women 742, percent of women 24.9%
description: bicameral Parliament or Chi Tshog consists of:
non-partisan National Council or Gyelyong Tshogde (25 seats; 20 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 5 members appointed by the king; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly or Tshogdu (47 seats; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies in a two-round majoritarian voting system; members serve 5-year terms)

elections:
National Council election last held on 20 April 2018 (next to be held in 2023)
National Assembly - first round held on 15 September 2018 and second round held on 18 October 2018 (next to be held in 2023)

election results:
National Council - seats by party - independent 20 (all candidates ran as independents); composition - men 23, women 2, percent of women 8%
National Assembly - first round - percent of vote by party - DNT 31.9%, DPT 30.9%, PDP 27.4%, BKP 9.8%; second round - percent of vote by party -  NA; seats by party - DNT 30, DPT 17; composition - men 40, women 7, percent of women 14.9%; note - total Parliament percent of women 12.5%
Judicial branchhighest courts: Supreme People's Court (consists of over 340 judges, including the chief justice and 13 grand justices organized into a civil committee and tribunals for civil, economic, administrative, complaint and appeal, and communication and transportation cases)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the People's National Congress (NPC); limited to 2 consecutive 5-year-terms; other justices and judges nominated by the chief justice and appointed by the Standing Committee of the NPC; term of other justices and judges determined by the NPC

subordinate courts: Higher People's Courts; Intermediate People's Courts; District and County People's Courts; Autonomous Region People's Courts; International Commercial Courts; Special People's Courts for military, maritime, transportation, and forestry issues

note: in late 2014, China unveiled a multi-year judicial reform program; progress continued in 2018
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 4 associate justices); note - the Supreme Court has sole jurisdiction in constitutional matters

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the monarch upon the advice of the National Judicial Commission, a 4-member body to include the Legislative Committee of the National Assembly, the attorney general, the Chief Justice of Bhutan and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; other judges (drangpons) appointed by the monarch from among the High Court judges selected by the National Judicial Commission; chief justice serves a 5-year term or until reaching age 65 years, whichever is earlier; the 4 other judges serve 10-year terms or until age 65, whichever is earlier

subordinate courts: High Court (first appellate court); District or Dzongkhag Courts; sub-district or Dungkhag Courts
Political parties and leadersChinese Communist Party or CCP [XI Jinping]

note: China has 8 nominally independent small parties controlled by the CCP
Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party or BKP
Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party (Druk Phuensum Tshogpa) or DPT [Pema GYAMTSHO] (Druk Chirwang Tshogpa or DCT merged with DPT in March 2018)
People's Democratic Party or PDP [Tshering TOBGAY]
United Party of Bhutan (Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa) or DNT [Lotay TSHERING]
International organization participationADB, AfDB (nonregional member), APEC, Arctic Council (observer), ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BRICS, CDB, CICA, EAS, FAO, FATF, G-20, G-24 (observer), G-5, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OPCW, Pacific Alliance (observer), PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SCO, SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UN Security Council (permanent), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZCADB, BIMSTEC, CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador QIN Gangas (since 29 July 2021)

chancery: 3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 495-2266

FAX: [1] (202) 495-2138

email address and website:
chinaemppress_us@mfa.gov.cn

http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco; note - the US ordered closure of the Houston consulate in late July 2020
chief of mission: none; the Permanent Mission to the UN for Bhutan has consular jurisdiction in the US; the permanent representative to the UN is Doma TSHERING (since 13 September 2017); address: 343 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017; telephone [1] (212) 682-2268; FAX [1] (212) 661-0551; email consulate.pmbny@mfa.gov.bt

consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires David MEALE (since July 2021)

embassy: 55 An Jia Lou Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100600

mailing address: 7300 Beijing Place, Washington DC  20521-7300

telephone: [86] (10) 8531-3000

FAX: [86] (10) 8531-4200

email address and website:
BeijingACS@state.gov

https://china.usembassy-china.org.cn/

consulate(s) general: Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Wuhan; note - the Chinese Government ordered closure of the US consulate in Chengdu in late July 2020
embassy: none; frequent informal contact is maintained via the US embassy in New Delhi (India) and Bhutan's Permanent Mission to the UN
Flag descriptionred with a large yellow five-pointed star and four smaller yellow five-pointed stars (arranged in a vertical arc toward the middle of the flag) in the upper hoist-side corner; the color red represents revolution, while the stars symbolize the four social classes - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie (capitalists) - united under the Communist Party of Chinadivided diagonally from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle is yellow and the lower triangle is orange; centered along the dividing line is a large black and white dragon facing away from the hoist side; the dragon, called the Druk (Thunder Dragon), is the emblem of the nation; its white color stands for purity and the jewels in its claws symbolize wealth; the background colors represent spiritual and secular powers within Bhutan: the orange is associated with Buddhism, while the yellow denotes the ruling dynasty
National anthemname: "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" (The March of the Volunteers)

lyrics/music: TIAN Han/NIE Er

note: adopted 1949; the anthem, though banned during the Cultural Revolution, is more commonly known as "Zhongguo Guoge" (Chinese National Song); it was originally the theme song to the 1935 Chinese movie, "Sons and Daughters in a Time of Storm"
name: "Druk tsendhen" (The Thunder Dragon Kingdom)

lyrics/music: Gyaldun Dasho Thinley DORJI/Aku TONGMI

note: adopted 1953
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCthas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)dragon, giant panda; national colors: red, yellowthunder dragon known as Druk Gyalpo; national colors: orange, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: least one parent must be a citizen of China

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: while naturalization is theoretically possible, in practical terms it is extremely difficult; residency is required but not specified
citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bhutan

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Economy

ChinaBhutan
Economy - overview

Since the late 1970s, China has moved from a closed, centrally planned system to a more market-oriented one that plays a major global role. China has implemented reforms in a gradualist fashion, resulting in efficiency gains that have contributed to a more than tenfold increase in GDP since 1978. Reforms began with the phaseout of collectivized agriculture, and expanded to include the gradual liberalization of prices, fiscal decentralization, increased autonomy for state enterprises, growth of the private sector, development of stock markets and a modern banking system, and opening to foreign trade and investment. China continues to pursue an industrial policy, state support of key sectors, and a restrictive investment regime. From 2013 to 2017, China had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, averaging slightly more than 7% real growth per year. Measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis that adjusts for price differences, China in 2017 stood as the largest economy in the world, surpassing the US in 2014 for the first time in modern history. China became the world's largest exporter in 2010, and the largest trading nation in 2013. Still, China's per capita income is below the world average.

In July 2005 moved to an exchange rate system that references a basket of currencies. From mid-2005 to late 2008, the renminbi (RMB) appreciated more than 20% against the US dollar, but the exchange rate remained virtually pegged to the dollar from the onset of the global financial crisis until June 2010, when Beijing announced it would resume a gradual appreciation. From 2013 until early 2015, the renminbi held steady against the dollar, but it depreciated 13% from mid-2015 until end-2016 amid strong capital outflows; in 2017 the RMB resumed appreciating against the dollar – roughly 7% from end-of-2016 to end-of-2017. In 2015, the People’s Bank of China announced it would continue to carefully push for full convertibility of the renminbi, after the currency was accepted as part of the IMF’s special drawing rights basket. However, since late 2015 the Chinese Government has strengthened capital controls and oversight of overseas investments to better manage the exchange rate and maintain financial stability.

The Chinese Government faces numerous economic challenges including: (a) reducing its high domestic savings rate and correspondingly low domestic household consumption; (b) managing its high corporate debt burden to maintain financial stability; (c) controlling off-balance sheet local government debt used to finance infrastructure stimulus; (d) facilitating higher-wage job opportunities for the aspiring middle class, including rural migrants and college graduates, while maintaining competitiveness; (e) dampening speculative investment in the real estate sector without sharply slowing the economy; (f) reducing industrial overcapacity; and (g) raising productivity growth rates through the more efficient allocation of capital and state-support for innovation. Economic development has progressed further in coastal provinces than in the interior, and by 2016 more than 169.3 million migrant workers and their dependents had relocated to urban areas to find work. One consequence of China’s population control policy known as the "one-child policy" - which was relaxed in 2016 to permit all families to have two children - is that China is now one of the most rapidly aging countries in the world. Deterioration in the environment - notably air pollution, soil erosion, and the steady fall of the water table, especially in the North - is another long-term problem. China continues to lose arable land because of erosion and urbanization. The Chinese Government is seeking to add energy production capacity from sources other than coal and oil, focusing on natural gas, nuclear, and clean energy development. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement, a multilateral agreement to combat climate change, and committed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions between 2025 and 2030.

The government's 13th Five-Year Plan, unveiled in March 2016, emphasizes the need to increase innovation and boost domestic consumption to make the economy less dependent on government investment, exports, and heavy industry. However, China has made more progress on subsidizing innovation than rebalancing the economy. Beijing has committed to giving the market a more decisive role in allocating resources, but the Chinese Government’s policies continue to favor state-owned enterprises and emphasize stability. Chinese leaders in 2010 pledged to double China’s GDP by 2020, and the 13th Five Year Plan includes annual economic growth targets of at least 6.5% through 2020 to achieve that goal. In recent years, China has renewed its support for state-owned enterprises in sectors considered important to "economic security," explicitly looking to foster globally competitive industries. Chinese leaders also have undermined some market-oriented reforms by reaffirming the "dominant" role of the state in the economy, a stance that threatens to discourage private initiative and make the economy less efficient over time. The slight acceleration in economic growth in 2017—the first such uptick since 2010—gives Beijing more latitude to pursue its economic reforms, focusing on financial sector deleveraging and its Supply-Side Structural Reform agenda, first announced in late 2015.

Bhutan's small economy is based largely on hydropower, agriculture, and forestry, which provide the main livelihood for more than half the population. Because rugged mountains dominate the terrain and make the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive, industrial production is primarily of the cottage industry type. The economy is closely aligned with India's through strong trade and monetary links and is dependent on India for financial assistance and migrant laborers for development projects, especially for road construction. Bhutan signed a pact in December 2014 to expand duty-free trade with Bangladesh.

Multilateral development organizations administer most educational, social, and environment programs, and take into account the government's desire to protect the country's environment and cultural traditions. For example, the government is cautious in its expansion of the tourist sector, restricing visits to environmentally conscientious tourists. Complicated controls and uncertain policies in areas such as industrial licensing, trade, labor, and finance continue to hamper foreign investment.

Bhutan’s largest export - hydropower to India - could spur sustainable growth in the coming years if Bhutan resolves chronic delays in construction. Bhutan’s hydropower exports comprise 40% of total exports and 25% of the government’s total revenue. Bhutan currently taps only 6.5% of its 24,000-megawatt hydropower potential and is behind schedule in building 12 new hydropower dams with a combined capacity of 10,000 megawatts by 2020 in accordance with a deal signed in 2008 with India. The high volume of imported materials to build hydropower plants has expanded Bhutan's trade and current account deficits. Bhutan also signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh and India in July 2017 to jointly construct a new hydropower plant for exporting electricity to Bangladesh.

GDP (purchasing power parity)$22,526,502,000,000 (2019 est.)

$21,229,363,000,000 (2018 est.)

$19,887,033,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$9.029 billion (2019 est.)

$8.561 billion (2018 est.)

$8.307 billion (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - real growth rate6.14% (2019 est.)

6.75% (2018 est.)

6.92% (2017 est.)
7.4% (2017 est.)

7.3% (2016 est.)

6.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,117 (2019 est.)

$15,243 (2018 est.)

$14,344 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars
$11,832 (2019 est.)

$11,348 (2018 est.)

$11,142 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 7.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 40.5% (2017 est.)

services: 51.6% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 16.2% (2017 est.)

industry: 41.8% (2017 est.)

services: 42% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line0.6% (2019 est.)8.2% (2017 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.1%

highest 10%: 31.4% (2012)

note: data are for urban households only
lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 30.6% (2012)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.8% (2019 est.)

2% (2018 est.)

1.5% (2017 est.)
5.8% (2017 est.)

7.6% (2016 est.)
Labor force774.71 million (2019 est.)

note: by the end of 2012, China's working age population (15-64 years) was 1.004 billion
397,900 (2017 est.)

note: major shortage of skilled labor
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 27.7%

industry: 28.8%

services: 43.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 58%

industry: 20%

services: 22% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate3.64% (2019 est.)

3.84% (2018 est.)

note: data are for registered urban unemployment, which excludes private enterprises and migrants
3.2% (2017 est.)

3.2% (2016 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index38.5 (2016 est.)

46.2 (2015 est.)
37.4 (2017 est.)

38.1 (2007)
Budgetrevenues: 2.553 trillion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 3.008 trillion (2017 est.)
revenues: 655.3 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: 737.4 million (2017 est.)

note: the Government of India finances nearly one-quarter of Bhutan's budget expenditures
Industriesworld leader in gross value of industrial output; mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizer; consumer products (including footwear, toys, and electronics); food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, railcars and locomotives, ships, aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellitescement, wood products, processed fruits, alcoholic beverages, calcium carbide, tourism
Industrial production growth rate6.1% (2017 est.)6.3% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - productsmaize, rice, vegetables, wheat, sugar cane, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelons, sweet potatoesmilk, rice, maize, potatoes, roots/tubers, oranges, areca nuts, chillies/peppers, spices, ginger
Exports$2.49 trillion (2018)

$2.216 trillion (2017 est.)

$1.99 trillion (2016 est.)
$554.6 million (2017 est.)

$495.3 million (2016 est.)
Exports - commoditiesbroadcasting equipment, computers, integrated circuits, office machinery and parts, telephones (2019)iron alloys, dolomite, refined iron, cement, silicon carbides (2019)
Exports - partnersUnited States 17%, Hong Kong 10%, Japan 6% (2019)India 94% (2019)
Imports$2.14 trillion (2018)

$1.74 trillion (2017 est.)

$1.501 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.025 billion (2017 est.)

$1.03 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commoditiescrude petroleum, integrated circuits, iron, natural gas, cars, gold (2019)refined petroleum, iron products, delivery trucks, cars, wood charcoal (2019)
Imports - partnersSouth Korea 9%, Japan 8%, Australia 7%, Germany 7%, US 7%, Taiwan 6% (2019)India 85%, Thailand 5% (2019)
Debt - external$2,027,950,000,000 (2019 est.)

$1,935,206,000,000 (2018 est.)
$2.671 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.355 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange ratesRenminbi yuan (RMB) per US dollar -

6.5374 (2020 est.)

7.0403 (2019 est.)

6.8798 (2018 est.)

6.1434 (2014 est.)

6.1958 (2013 est.)
ngultrum (BTN) per US dollar -

64.97 (2017 est.)

67.2 (2016 est.)

67.2 (2015 est.)

64.15 (2014 est.)

61.03 (2013 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year1 July - 30 June
Public debt47% of GDP (2017 est.)

44.2% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: official data; data cover both central and local government debt, including debt officially recognized by China's National Audit Office report in 2011; data exclude policy bank bonds, Ministry of Railway debt, and China Asset Management Company debt
106.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

114.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$3.236 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)

$3.098 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.206 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$1.127 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance$141.335 billion (2019 est.)

$25.499 billion (2018 est.)
-$547 million (2017 est.)

-$621 million (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$14,327,359,000,000 (2019 est.)

note: because China's exchange rate is determined by fiat rather than by market forces, the official exchange rate measure of GDP is not an accurate measure of China's output; GDP at the official exchange rate substantially understates the actual level of China's output vis-a-vis the rest of the world; in China's situation, GDP at purchasing power parity provides the best measure for comparing output across countries
$2.405 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues21.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)27.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)-3.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 39.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 42.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.7% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 20.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -18.4% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 58% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 16.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 47.2% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 26% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -48% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving44.2% of GDP (2019 est.)

44.4% of GDP (2018 est.)

45% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.2% of GDP (2019 est.)

21.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

27.9% of GDP (2017 est.)

Energy

ChinaBhutan
Electricity - production5.883 trillion kWh (2016 est.)7.883 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption5.564 trillion kWh (2016 est.)2.184 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports18.91 billion kWh (2016 est.)5.763 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports6.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)84 million kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production3.773 million bbl/day (2018 est.)0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports6.71 million bbl/day (2015 est.)0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports57,310 bbl/day (2015 est.)0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves25.63 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves5.44 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)0 cu m (2016 est.)
Natural gas - production145.9 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption238.6 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports3.37 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports97.63 billion cu m (2017 est.)0 cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity1.653 billion kW (2016 est.)1.632 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels62% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)1% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)99% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources18% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production11.51 million bbl/day (2015 est.)0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption12.47 million bbl/day (2016 est.)3,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports848,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports1.16 million bbl/day (2015 est.)3,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2020)electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Telecommunications

ChinaBhutan
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 191.033 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13.75 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 21,581

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2.57 (2019 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal subscriptions: 1,746,238,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 125.66 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 729,239

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 86.79 (2019 est.)
Internet country code.cn.bt
Internet userstotal: 751,886,119

percent of population: 54.3% (July 2018 est.)
total: 368,714

percent of population: 48.11% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systemsgeneral assessment: China has the largest Internet market in the world with almost all subscribers accessing Internet through mobile devices; market is driven through government-allied investment; fast-developing data center market; government aims to provide universal and affordable broadband coverage through market competition and private investment in state-controlled enterprises; 3G and LTE subscribers will migrate to 5G aiming for 1M 5G base stations; government strengthens IoT policies to boost economic growth; China is pushing development of smart cities beyond Beijing; Beijing residents carry virtual card integrating identity, social security, health, and education documents; government controls gateways to global Internet through censorship, surveillance, and shut-downs; major exporter of broadcasting equipment world-wide (2021) (2020)

domestic: 13 per 100 fixed line and 120 per 100 mobile-cellular; a domestic satellite system with several earth stations has been in place since 2018 (2019)

international: country code - 86; landing points for the RJCN, EAC-C2C, TPE, APCN-2, APG, NCP, TEA, SeaMeWe-3, SJC2, Taiwan Strait Express-1, AAE-1, APCN-2, AAG, FEA, FLAG and TSE submarine cables providing connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 7 (5 Intelsat - 4 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean; 1 Intersputnik - Indian Ocean region; and 1 Inmarsat - Pacific and Indian Ocean regions) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments
general assessment:

Bhutan’s telecom market is dominated by the mobile sector for voice and data connections due to poor fixed-line infrastructure and topographic issues; investment is focused on mobile infrastructure and an emergency telecom network for natural disasters; extended LTE to 60% of all mobile Internet users; regulator developing 5G plan; international communication through landline and microwave relay; nascent satellite service; importer of broadcast equipment from India (2021)

(2020)

domestic: 3 to 100 fixed-line, 96 to 100 mobile cellular; domestic service inadequate, notably in rural areas (2019)

international: country code - 975; international telephone and telegraph service via landline and microwave relay through India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadband - fixed subscriptionstotal: 449.279 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 32.33 (2019 est.)
total: 8,774

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1.04 (2019 est.)
Broadcast mediaall broadcast media are owned by, or affiliated with, the Communist Party of China or a government agency; no privately owned TV or radio stations; state-run Chinese Central TV, provincial, and municipal stations offer more than 2,000 channels; the Central Propaganda Department sends directives to all domestic media outlets to guide its reporting with the government maintaining authority to approve all programming; foreign-made TV programs must be approved prior to broadcast; increasingly, Chinese turn to online and satellite television to access Chinese and international films and television shows (2019)state-owned TV station established in 1999; cable TV service offers dozens of Indian and other international channels; first radio station, privately launched in 1973, is now state-owned; 5 private radio stations are currently broadcasting (2012)

Transportation

ChinaBhutan
Roadwaystotal: 4,960,600 km (2017)

paved: 4,338,600 km (includes 136,500 km of expressways) (2017)

unpaved: 622,000 km (2017)
total: 12,205 km (2017)

urban: 437 km (2017)
Airportstotal: 507 (2013)total: 2 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 510 (2019)

over 3,047 m: 87

2,438 to 3,047 m: 187

1,524 to 2,437 m: 109

914 to 1,523 m: 43

under 914 m: 84
total: 2 (2017)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 23 (2019)

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 0

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 13
total: 1 (2012)

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
National air transport systemnumber of registered air carriers: 56 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 2,890

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 436,183,969 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 611,439,830 mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 275,849 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 690,000 mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefixBA5

Military

ChinaBhutan
Military branchesPeople's Liberation Army (PLA): Ground Forces, Navy (PLAN, includes marines and naval aviation), Air Force (PLAAF, includes airborne forces), Rocket Force (strategic missile force), and Strategic Support Force (information warfare, cyber, space forces); People's Armed Police (PAP, includes Coast Guard, Border Defense Force, Internal Security Forces); PLA Reserve Force (2021)

note(s): the PAP is a paramilitary police component of China’s armed forces that is under the command of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and charged with internal security, law enforcement, counterterrorism, and maritime rights protection

in 2018, the Coast Guard was moved from the State Oceanic Administration to the PAP; in 2013, China merged four of its five major maritime law enforcement agencies – the China Marine Surveillance (CMS), Maritime Police, Fishery Law Enforcement (FLE), and Anti-Smuggling Police – into a unified coast guard
Royal Bhutan Army (includes Royal Bodyguard, an air wing); National Militia; Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs: Royal Bhutan Police (2020)

note - the Royal Bhutan Army is a lightly armed infantry force focused on border protection and internal security; India is responsible for military training, arms supplies, and the air defense of Bhutan
Military service age and obligation18-22 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs (2019)18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; militia training is compulsory for males aged 20-25, over a 3-year period (2019)

Transnational Issues

ChinaBhutan
Disputes - international

China and India continue their security and foreign policy dialogue started in 2005 related to a number of boundary disputes across the 2,000 mile shared border; India does not recognize Pakistan's 1964 ceding to China of the Aksai Chin, a territory designated as part of the princely state of Kashmir by the British Survey of India in 1865; China claims most of the Indian state Arunachal Pradesh to the base of the Himalayas, but the US recognizes the state of Arunachal Pradesh as Indian territory; Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China's Chumbi salient; Chinese maps show an international boundary symbol (the so-called “nine-dash line”) off the coasts of the littoral states of the South China Sea, where China has interrupted Vietnamese hydrocarbon exploration; China asserts sovereignty over Scarborough Reef along with the Philippines and Taiwan, and over the Spratly Islands together with Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Brunei; the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea eased tensions in the Spratlys, and in 2017 China and ASEAN began confidential negotiations for an updated Code of Conduct for the South China Sea designed not to settle territorial disputes but establish rules and norms in the region; this still is not the legally binding code of conduct sought by some parties; Vietnam and China continue to expand construction of facilities in the Spratlys and in early 2018 China began deploying advanced military systems to disputed Spratly outposts; China occupies some of the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan; the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan; certain islands in the Yalu and Tumen Rivers are in dispute with North Korea; North Korea and China seek to stem illegal migration to China by North Koreans, fleeing privation and oppression; China and Russia have demarcated the once disputed islands at the Amur and Ussuri confluence and in the Argun River in accordance with their 2004 Agreement; China and Tajikistan have begun demarcating the revised boundary agreed to in the delimitation of 2002; the decade-long demarcation of the China-Vietnam land boundary was completed in 2009; citing environmental, cultural, and social concerns, China has reconsidered construction of 13 dams on the Salween River, but energy-starved Burma, with backing from Thailand, continues to consider building five hydro-electric dams downstream despite regional and international protests

lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China’s Chumbi salient

Trafficking in personscurrent situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in China and Chinese people abroad; Chinese men, women, and children are victims of forced labor and sex trafficking in at least 60 countries; traffickers also use China as a transit point to subject foreign individuals to trafficking in other countries throughout Asia and in international maritime industries; state-sponsored forced labor is intensifying under the government’s mass detention and political indoctrination campaign against Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; well-organized criminal syndicates and local gangs subject Chinese women and girls to sex trafficking within China; women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and several countries in Africa experience forced labor in domestic service, forced concubinism leading to forced childbearing, and sex trafficking via forced and fraudulent marriage to Chinese men; African and Asian men reportedly experience conditions indicative of forced labor aboard Chinese-flagged fishing vessels; many North Korean refugees and asylum-seekers living in China illegally are particularly vulnerable to trafficking

tier rating: Tier 3 — China does not fully meet the minimum standards for elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government prosecuted and convicted some traffickers and continued to cooperate with international authorities to address forced and fraudulent marriages in China; however, there was a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor, including the continued mass arbitrary detention of more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of law enforcement officials allegedly complicit despite continued reports of officials benefiting from, permitting, or directly facilitating sex trafficking; authorities did not report identifying any trafficking victims or referring them to protective services; it is likely that law enforcement arrested and detained unidentified trafficking victims for crimes traffickers compelled them to commit; for the third consecutive year, the government did not report the extent to which it funded anti-trafficking activities in furtherance of the 2013-2020 National Action Plan on Combating Human Trafficking (2020)
current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Bhutan and Bhutanese abroad; some traffickers posing as recruiters use the lure of well-paying jobs overseas to exploit Bhutanese citizens for forced labor; some Bhutanese working in hospitality, retail, and service industries in the Gulf states and India, Thailand, and the UK reported trafficking indicators, including illegal recruitment fees, wage deductions, restricted movement, passport retention, and non-payment of wages; Bhutanese women and girls working as domestics, caregivers, and entertainers are subject to sex and labor trafficking domestically; Bhutanese and Indian women may be forced to work in hotels, massage parlors, and nightclubs, while male Indian workers face unauthorized deductions and non-payment of wages in the construction and hydropower sectors

tier rating:

Tier 2 Watch List — Bhutan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; among its accomplishments, Bhutan convicted one trafficker, appealed the dismissal of trafficking charges in a second case, finalized and disseminated standard operating procedures for victim identification and referral, and initiated an investigation into reports of labor exploitation; the government also continued to work with an international organization on anti-trafficking training and public awareness events; however, Bhutanese courts continued to dismiss and refile on lesser charges human trafficking cases due to inconsistencies between Bhutanese law and the international definition of trafficking; additionally, authorities did not identify any trafficking victims during the reporting period and did not provide protective services to Bhutanese victims of forced labor abroad (2020)

Source: CIA Factbook