Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurates IAF Commanders' Conference at Air Headquarters

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman waves at Chinese soldiers during a visit to Nathu La

It seems that Union Defence Minister had a field day as she visited Nathu La area on the India-China border to interact with Indian armymen and officials of the Indo-Tibetan Police Force.

Since taking charge as Defence Minister, Ms. Sitharaman has travelled extensively to various military stations and border areas.

Citing the 1890 treaty between Britain and China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "The Sikkim section of China-India border has been delineated by the historical convention and the Nathu La pass is the best witness to that fact".

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

The defense minister's trip to India's Nathu La border post in the state of Sikkim comes after a 73-day standoff that occurred nearby this year between the two neighboring countries - in the Doklam Plateau region, about 20 miles from Nathu La.

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In another video posted on the minister's Twitter account, she was seen wishing good luck to the Chinese people.

"China welcomes Sitharaman's greeting and hopes this friendly gesture is also welcomed by Indians", the state-run Global Times said in an editorial.

"The greeting sent a goodwill signal towards mending bilateral ties and putting relations back on track toward normality", Qian Feng, an expert at the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies was quoted as saying by Global Times.

"Although leaders of the two countries are exploring more cooperation, the focus and priority of the two countries is to avoid friction and conflict", said Shisheng. She also visited the Gajraj Corps headquarters where she was briefed by Lt Gen Bedi, on the overall security situation in Assam and the Kameng Sector of Arunachal Pradesh and the operational preparedness of the Corps.

"This is commonly regarded as the attitude of the Narendra Modi government". Reports said that the minister had to cancel an aerial survey of Doklam and border posts due to bad weather. While the Centre has rejected media reports of a "sizeable" Chinese troops presence in Doklam, the neighbouring country reiterated that Doklam belongs to them.

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