A video of Indian defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman informally interacting with the Chinese soldiers at the Indo-China border has gone viral on social media platforms.
In the video, Sitharaman, who was recently appointed as the new defence minister, can be seen teaching Chinese soldiers what Namaste (greetings in Hindi) meant. In return, the Chinese soldiers too reply with greetings in Mandarin, Ni Hao.
The video of Sitharaman’s interaction was posted by the defence ministry’s official Twitter handle. (Watch below). This has come as a refreshing change amidst the prevalent tension at the border.
Sitharaman had earlier visited Nathu La area on the China-India border and interacted with army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials.
However, her scheduled aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts in the border areas of Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather, a statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations, government of Sikkim, said.
Earlier in the day, state government officials had said the defence minister made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathu La area. Sitharaman, on a day’s visit to Sikkim, also travelled by road to Nathu La, 52km from Gangtok, and interacted with Army and ITBP officials posted there, reported PTI.
“The Union Minister who was scheduled to make her aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts along the Indo-Sino border in Sikkim was cancelled due to inclement weather. However, she made her aerial survey of Gangtok and surrounding areas from the new Greenfield Pakyong Airport in east Sikkim after her return from the Nathu-la Border during the afternoon,” the statement said.
The defence minister’s visit to the border area comes more than a month since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after nearly a 70-day standoff at Doklam. On her twitter handle, she said Chinese soldiers from across the border took pictures of hers when she reached Nathu La. “Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La,” she tweeted.