Defence minister makes aerial survey of Doklam-Nathula area

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2017

After a couple of failed attempts, the Chinese officer nearly hits it right, saying: Nice to meet you.

As an Indian soldier approaches to end the quiz by telling the answer, the Defence Minister signalled him to wait. After this, Nirmala Sitharaman asked the meaning of Namaste from Chinese jawans and also meant it.

The video had been posted on Sitharaman's official Twitter handle and the report about her visit had been widely carried in the Indian media. In return, the Chinese soldiers too reply with greetings in Mandarin, Ni Hao.

The short clip shows Sitharaman exchange greetings with the Chinese soldiers.

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The visit which is part of Sitharaman's familiarization with all the formations of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) comes close on the heels of her visit to Northern Command recently and her visit to Sikkim on Saturday. In the video, the minister is seen explaining the meaning of "Namaste" to PLA soldiers stations along the border. With the help of a Chinese interpreter, Sitharaman was introduced to a People's Liberation Army commander and captain posted at the China-India border.

She exhorted the troops to continue with the same zeal and sense of pride and honour showing due respect to Human Rights. She also reviewed the operational readiness of the airbase, seeing the Sukhoi fighter aircraft & other IAF assets at first-hand.

Notably, the Indian government has maintained that the situation at the border has not changed since both the countries reached an agreement over Doklam standoff.

The defence minister is also scheduled to meet Sikkim Governor Sriniwas Patil and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at the Raj Bhavan and they may discuss several issues related to defence in the border areas with China.

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