Nirmala Sitharaman teaches Chinese soldiers meaning of 'Namaste' at Nathu La

Katrina Barker
October 11, 2017

After trending on social media on Sunday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's "Namaste" diplomacy also won the hearts of the Chinese.

Sitharaman was accorded a guard of honour on her arrival at Nathu La. "The Sikkim sector of the China-India boundary has been delimited by the historical treaty of 1890, and the Nathula pass has been the best witness testifying to this fact", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing while reacting to a question on Sitharaman's visit, PTI reported. Nirmala Sitharaman wrote on Twitter: "Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La".

Sitharaman, India's first woman defence minister, visited the forward post to meet Indian troops on Oct.7. She interacted with Indian and Chinese army officials at Nathu La.

Despite the recent stand-off between India and China, the Global Times argues, "Sino-Indian relations are entering a new era of crisis management where Indian leadership should seek to fix stagnated ties".

The minister earlier took to Twitter to share a post showing her waving at Chinese troops who were taking pictures of her from across the border.

A Chinese soldier replied with "Ni hao", much to the amusement of all present.

Sitharaman made the comments during a meeting where she was introduced to a People's Liberation Army commander and captain and communicated with the help of an interpreter.

The maiden visit of the Minister to the Eastern Command is part of her familiarisation with the formations of the Army and the Air Force.

The state run paper also said Indians must overcome the paranoia that suggests that India is strategically thwarted and threatened by Beijing.

At the end of August, both countries announced their troops had withdrawn from the Doklam plateau following diplomatic talks. The Defence Minister said keeping the morale of the forces high at all times was a top priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

The statement had come amidst reports that China has maintained a sizeable presence of its troops near the Doklam standoff site and even started widening an existing road around 12 km from the area of face-off.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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