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

11 October, 2017, 00:31 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Post Doklam Nirmala Sitharaman to visit Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday blamed the past regime for not taking timely decisions resulting in gaps in the Indian Air Force.

"This is commonly regarded as the attitude of the Narendra Modi government".

The "Chicken Neck" is strategically important for both China and India as it cuts through Bangladesh to the south and west and China to the north. But Indian society's understanding of their country's border policy seems ambiguous and chaotic.

When the Chinese soldiers figured out that "Namaste" is a greeting, Sitharaman asks, "What would you say in Chinese?"

The defence minister's visit to the border area comes more than a month since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after almost a 70-day standoff at Dokalam.

Sitharaman is on a day-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim today.

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In the first video (see above), she is seen greeting the People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers by saying "Namaste" - an Indian greeting - before chatting to the officials.

An editorial in the media outlet said, "Indian society is sensitive and arrogant, and Indian media is amplifying nationalism". But confrontation with Beijing is also a radical idea beyond its national strength and contradicts its fundamental interests. "Sitharaman's charm offensive might help break the ice between Chinese and Indian public opinion".

The minister earlier took to Twitter to share a post showing her waving at Chinese troops who were taking pictures of her from across the border.

It added: "China is not willing to see that ties with India consume too much energy and India is not a major focus for China's strategic ambition". India's development lags behind China. While the Centre has rejected media reports of a "sizeable" Chinese troops presence in Doklam, the neighbouring country reiterated that Doklam belongs to them. But the reports of a new Chinese road in the sensitive region have spread quickly, fueling political fires in New Delhi. "Confrontation with China will directly limit its global strategic space", it further said.

Just weeks ago there was a terse eye-ball to eye-ball contact between soldiers of both sides during the Doklam incident in nearby Bhutan.

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