Bhutan has said it is pleased with India’s and China’s decision to withdraw troops from strategic area and has urged the two nations to maintain peace.
The withdrawal of troops by India and China brought to an end months-long military stand-off between the two countries.
Bhutan is a tiny country almost sandwiched between India and China and has been caught in the middle of what some analysts called the worst crisis in India-China relations in decades. The row centred on the Doklam plateau, an area high in the Himalayas that is claimed by both China and Bhutan.
India isn’t claiming rights over the territory but has a military presence in Bhutan, which is a close ally for the world’s largest democracy. India has stepped in to prevent Chinese border guards from building a road there, prompting Beijing to accuse it of trespassing on Chinese soil.
“Bhutan welcomes the disengagement by the two sides at the face-off site in the Doklam area,” its foreign ministry said. “We hope this contributes to the maintenance of peace and tranquility and status quo along the borders of Bhutan, China and India, in keeping with existing agreements between the respective countries.”
The Doklam plateau is strategically significant as it gives China access to the so-called “chicken’s neck” — a thin strip of land connecting India’s northeastern states with the rest of the country.
India and China have a long history of mistrust and went to war in 1962 over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The latest episode has fed into a broader competition for regional influence between the two Asian powers.