India's defence minister interacts with Chinese soldiers at border checkpoint

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A friendly wave at Chinese soldiers manning the Nathu La border in India's Sikkim state by India's defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has charmed defence and foreign relations commentators in Beijing.

A senior officer of Chinese Army is seen introducing his colleagues and their nature of work to Sitharaman and she suddenly greets them saying "Namste, do you know what namaste is?".

Sitharam's visit to the Nathu La pass is considered to be significant as recent reports have suggested that Chinese soldiers remain in the vicinity of the Doklam standoff site. In return, the Chinese soldiers too reply with greetings in Mandarin, Ni Hao. She surprised military officials on both sides as she swooped in at Nathu La in Sikkim on Saturday.

Responding to her wish, one of the Chinese solider said, "thank you, India and China are great nations".

In the short clip, the Defence Minister is seen greeting troops with her hands folded in a "namaste". She also visited the Gajraj Corps headquarters where she was briefed by Lt Gen Bedi, on the overall security situation in Assam and the Kameng Sector of Arunachal Pradesh and the operational preparedness of the Corps.

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Sithraman has visited forward areas along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir and the world's highest battlefield, Siachen.

Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day standoff in Dokalam that began from June 16 over road construction activity at the India-Bhutan-China trijunction.

Earlier, on Thursday, Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa confirmed the existence of Chinese troops in the region.

The friendly conversation comes days after the standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam, which lasted for almost 70 days before the two sides entered into a "disengagement agreement".

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