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

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

Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited the Nathu La Himalayan mountain pass that connects the Indian state of Sikkim with China's Tibet Autonomous Region on Saturday.

Long after China and India negotiated a face-saving "disengagement" to the Sikkim border standoff, PLA troops are still causing unease with a heavy presence near the disputed terrain.

"Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fences who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La", Sitharaman tweeted.

Sitharaman, India's first woman defence minister, visited the forward post to meet Indian troops on Oct.7.

During her visit, Sitharaman taught the Chinese soldiers the meaning of "namaste" and also the procedure to do it.

"I wish good luck to your people of your country", said Sitharaman in the video posted to the Defence Minister's Twitter account on Sunday, which subsequently garnered much praise online from Chinese and Indian netizens alike.

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.

China appeared to welcome the Indian minister's gestures at the border.

She was also briefed about the security preparedness along the China-India border in the Sikkim sector by the Chief of Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna.

Citing Qian Feng, an expert at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, China's state-controlled Global Times reports, "The greeting sent a goodwill signal towards mending bilateral ties and putting relations back on track toward normality". "India's concerns about the Siliguri Corridor's security are understandable, but New Delhi can not mess around", it said adding that China is also concerned about the transport route security across the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, but Beijing has not taken "coercive measures to achieve its aims". 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. "Both countries should control the risks".

Meanwhile, reports have said that China is building bunkers on a road in Doklam, just 10 km from the location of the last conflict.

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