Nirmala Sitharaman teaches Chinese soldiers to say namaste


One of the Chinese soldiers, with a smile on his face, said "Namaste means nice to meet you".

In some of the other shared pictures of the visit she was seen making the arduous road journey to the border pass and sharing candies with the Indian soldiers posted on the border.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Sikkim border and Tezpur as part of her maiden visit to the Eastern Command as Defence Minister. Sitharaman then pressed her hands together and greeted the soldiers with a smile.

Soon after pictures of her waving at Chinese soldiers went viral on social media, the Defence Minister posted another tweet with a video of her interaction with Chinese soldiers.

Sitharaman, who was in Nathu La on Saturday, interacted with the Chinese soldiers during a flag meeting ceremony.

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

She exhorted the troops to continue with the same zeal and sense of pride and honour showing due respect to Human Rights.

The Doklam standoff between India and China started after Indian Army stopped the construction of a road in the area which is disputed between China and Bhutan. The Minister who was accompanied by Vice Chief of the Army Staff Lt Gen Sarath Chand and GOC-in-C Eastern Command Lt Gen Abhay Krishna was received at Tezpur Airforce Station by GOC Gajraj Corps Lt Gen AS Bedi and other senior dignitaries of the Army and the Air Force. She also offered candies to the army personnel there.

Going by the gracious and good-natured exchanges at the Nathu La border post with China, one would have found it hard to guess that the Indian and the Chinese armies were engaged in a bitter standoff in nearby Dokala till just a month and a half back.