New Delhi: When Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Nathu La area on the India-China border on Saturday, it wasn’t just the Indian Army and ITBP soldiers who were waiting to greet her.
Chinese soldiers on the other side of the border turned their camera lenses towards the Indian Defence Minister who greeted them with a ‘Namaste’. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers responded with ‘Ni Hao’ which means ‘Hello’ in Mandarin.
Sitharaman also waved with a smile at the Chinese army personnel who took pictures of her visit.
Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La. @DefenceMinIndia pic.twitter.com/7cWImtmfLG— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) October 7, 2017
Sitharaman, on a day's visit to Sikkim, travelled by road to Nathu La, 52 km from Gangtok, and interacted with Army and ITBP officials posted there.
"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," a statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim, said.
Sitharaman was accorded a guard of honor on her arrival at Nathu La.
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. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.
The defence minister's visit to the border area came 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 her 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.