The Bhutanese rulers have been sensitised at the highest level and have been asked to prepare for a military contingency plan
After Ladakh and the South China Sea, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is poised to open another front against Bhutan, with a build-up in western and central part of Kingdom in a bid to settle the border on terms favourable to China in the forthcoming 25th round of boundary talks, people familiar with the matter said.
While Thimpu has been sensitised at the highest levels about the PLA threat, the people added, Beijing will likely use PLA transgressions and encroachments in central Bhutan for a possible trade-off on already encroached areas and claims in the western part of the kingdom in the forthcoming negotiations.
Bhutan is central to India’s national security as the country lies next to the Siliguri corridor and any territorial compromise made by Bhutan will have an adverse impact on Indian defences in the area. Although India helped Bhutan Hold its own against PLA during the 73-day stand off at Doklam plateau in 2017, the Chinese army has not stopped testing the armies of the two close allies in the area, the people, in India’s military, diplomatic and security establishment said, speaking on condition of anonymity.