India Defense minister teaches Chinese soldiers meaning of 'Namaste'


A video shared on her official twitter handle on Sunday shows the minister interacting with Chinese troops. When the Chinese Commander introduces his soldiers to the Defense Minister, she greeted the Chinese soldiers as a greeting to Indian soldiers according to Indian tradition.

Chief of Eastern Command Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna briefed her about the security preparedness at the Indo-China border in the Sikkim Sector. She surprised military officials on both sides as she swooped in at Nathu La in Sikkim on Saturday.

"The Sikkim section of China-India border has been delineated by the historical convention and the Nathu La pass is the best witness to that fact", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, referring to the 1890 treaty between Britain and China.

After some time, one of the soldiers, with a smile on his face, said "Namaste means nice to meet you".

She expressed satisfaction at the level of preparedness of the forces and extended her greetings to the troops for a happy Diwali before her departure for Delhi.

"Ni hao", came the response from the Chinese soldiers, followed by laughter from both sides.

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"I wish good luck to the people of your country", Sitharaman was seen telling the Chinese soldiers.

Earlier in the day, state government officials had said the defence minister made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathu La area.

Her visit to Nathu La is particularly significant as it shares the border with Chumi Valley in Tibet, adjoining Doklam where the standoff took place.

However, her scheduled aerial survey of Doklam, an area where Indian and Chinese troops indulged in an over two-month-long standoff, got cancelled due to bad weather.

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