Bhutan on Tuesday welcomed the decision by India and China to disengage their troops at the Doklam tri-junction. “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 the existing agreements between the respective countries,” said a statement from the Bhutanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Doklam standoff had sparked fears for Bhutan that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) might aggressively seize disputed territory along the kingdom’s western borders. “This crisis has brought about some real questioning about Bhutan’s position and vulnerabilities for the first time in decades,” a senior official told The Indian Express earlier on Monday. “This isn’t to say there is a crisis in the Bhutan-India relationship — there isn’t — but there is going to be a lot of hard thinking on what needs to happen next.”
Read | Doklam disengagement: Sigh of relief in Bhutan but for its troops, fears remain, fingers crossed
A week before the BRICS summit, India and China on Monday ended the Doklam row by agreeing for disengagement of their troops at the face-off site. While China confirmed that India had withdrawn personnel and equipment from Doklam, they said they would make “necessary adjustments” to the deployment of its own forces along the border.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Beijing would continue to patrol the region. “Chinese personnel conducted an on-site check at the disputed area at 2.30 pm (Beijing time). China will continue to safeguard its territorial sovereignty according to historical boundary treaties. China’s border guards will continue to patrol the area. At the same time and in view of the changed situation, the Chinese side will make the necessary adjustments and deployments,” MFA spokesperson Hua Chunyin said. She also said the settlement of the issue through diplomacy were “in line with the interests of both countries.”