Last week, an Indian parliamentary panel fluttered the dovecotes in Thimphu – Bhutan’s capital – by recommending New Delhi encourage Bhutan to deploy more soldiers in the disputed Doklam area, where a year ago several hundred Indian and Chinese soldiers stood eyeball-to-eyeball, raising real fears of bloodshed.
Non-violent patrol confrontations are common along the undefined, 4,588km Sino-Indian border, but the face-off at Doklam was unique. Indian soldiers were not defending Indian soil; they had crossed into Bhutan and claimed to be acting on Thimphu’s behalf, in accordance with a security treaty between India and Bhutan.
For the 73 days that Doklam smouldered, Thimphu walked on eggshells, balancing between India’s stifling embrace and the potential consequences from China. Read more