Defence Minister Sitharaman reviews operational readiness of Tezpur airbase

Nirmala Sitharaman

After trending on social media on Sunday, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's "Namaste" diplomacy also won the hearts of the Chinese.

In the event, the Air Chief briefed the Union Defence Minister on the current status of IAF and the recent development.

Another source was quoted as saying by the Times of India that Sitharaman was indeed fearless as there is no woman in the senior ranks of the Communist Party and government in China.

"Acknowledged a row of Chinese soldiers from across the fence who were taking pictures on my reaching Nathu La", she tweeted.

The Global Times, in an editorial, titled "Sitharaman greeting sends warm signal", said that her traditional "Namastey" greetings to the Chinese soldiers conveyed her hope for peace along the border and "unwillingness to see a new stand-off".

In a video shared by the official Twitter handle of the Defense Ministry of India, Nirmala Sitharaman was seen teaching Chinese soldiers how to say namaste.

According Global Times, there are some Indian nationalists who allegedly "over-estimate India's strength and rights" and they assume that New Delhi "can bark orders across the border at Beijing".

She later met Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at his official residence and sought the state government's intervention in sorting out issues, mostly concerning land, between the Army and the state's forest department.

Beijing often referred to the 1890 Britain-China treaty during the Doklam standoff stating that it has defined the Sikkim section of the boundary with Tibet, therefore the border in that area has been settled.

South China Morning Post wrote that Sitharaman was building "bridges with Chinese troops", adding she experienced "an unexpected wave of goodwill". "This is commonly regarded as the attitude of the Narendra Modi government", the daily said.

In her first visit to the region, Sitharaman also interacted with Chinese troops across the border and taught them how to say "Namastey" and its meaning.

"The Sikkim section of China-India border has been delineated by historical convention and the Nathu-La pass is the best witness to that fact. Maintaining Sino-Indian friendship is a strategic instinct and a rational choice for China".

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