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11 October 2017, 12:33 | Kara Nash
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today conducted an aerial survey of the Doklam Nathula area on the India China border
The recently appointed Minister visited various forward areas along the border yesterday in Sikkim including Nathu La, which is around 30 km from Doklam, the site of a lengthy standoff between Indian and Chinese soldiers. Her gesture received largely positive comments on Weibo, the Chinese social media equivalent of Twitter.
In the video, which the Defense Minister shared on her official Twitter handle, she is seen speaking with the soldiers and explaining to them what "Namaste" means. Sitharaman in her speech stressed on the need of exploring greater possibility of Make in India in the defence sector.
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.
"Sino-Indian relations is entering a new era of crisis management where Indian leadership should seek to fix stagnated ties", reported Global Times.
Sitharaman's statement comes at a time when India and Pakistan continue to remain in loggerheads and relationship with China has hit a rough end even after though the Doklam stand-off was resolved amicably.
"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". The two sides so far have held 19 rounds of talks at the level of Special Representatives to find a lasting solution.
Ms. Sitharaman has also informed the Army of her request to Home Minister Rajnath Singh for provisioning of Humanitarian And Disaster Relief (HADR) equipment to allow the Indian Army to use them during natural disasters. "India's concerns about the Siliguri Corridor's security are understandable, but New Delhi can not mess around", it said adding that China is also concerned about the transport route security across the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, but Beijing has not taken "coercive measures to achieve its aims". "Maintaining Sino-Indian friendship is a strategic instinct and a rational choice for China".
Flexing its muscle, the newspaper called on India to "overcome its [security] paranoia and China has no obligation to indulge India's capriciousness".
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