Nirmala Sitharaman teaches Chinese soldiers the meaning of 'Namaste'

Aaron Brown
October 9, 2017

In the short clip, the Defence Minister is seen greeting troops with her hands folded in a "namaste". "Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La", the accompanying tweet read.

She then quizzes the soldiers across the border about the meaning of her greeting.

"What would you say in Chinese?" asks the minister.

Then the minister asked the soldier what that would translate into Chinese, to which the soldier replied, "Ni hao".

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today reviewed the operational readiness of the strategically important Eastern airbase of Tezpur.

Earlier, Ms Sitharaman posted a photo showing her smiling and waving at Chinese troops across the border.

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"The visit is part of her (Sitharaman's) familiarization with all the formations of the Indian Army and IAF".

Sitharaman was also scheduled to take an aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts in border areas of Sikkim but was later cancelled due to bad weather.

Sitharam, who was in Sikkim for a day, travelled to Nathu La by road and interacted with army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials.

The friendly interaction of India's top official with Chinese troops at the border comes days merely weeks after India and China ended their two-month-long stand-off in Doklam over a land dispute in the region. 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.

The Indian government maintained, however, that there was no change in the status quo in the area.

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