China ready to maintain peace with India along the border

Sitharaman's interaction with the People's Liberation Army troops at Nathu La with Namaste diplomacy also appears to have struck a chord. PTI

Sitharaman's interaction with the People's Liberation Army troops at Nathu La with Namaste diplomacy also appears to have struck a chord. PTI

"Do you know what namaste means?" she asked the Chinese soldiers.

The Defence Minister reiterated the government's resolve to give further impetus to development in the border areas.

Army officials briefed the Defence Minister on security preparedness along the Indo-China border in the Sikkim sector.

"I wish good luck to your people of your country", said Sitharaman in the video posted to the Defence Minister's Twitter account on Sunday, which subsequently garnered much praise online from Chinese and Indian netizens alike. "Such a fearless woman". "Such a fearless woman", the user was quoted as saying by a leading English daily.

On Monday, China had said the Nathu La post was the "best witness" to the UK-China treaty of 1890.

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The Defence Minister has been visiting forward areas and different bases of the three forces since she took over as the Defence Minister, and was also seen interacting with Chinese soldiers on her visit to Nathu La Pass.

The Nathu La section of the border has been demarcated according to historical agreements.

South China Morning Post wrote that Sitharaman was building "bridges with Chinese troops", adding she experienced "an unexpected wave of goodwill".

Sitharaman subsequently visited Solmara Military Station near Tezpur where she interacted with the officers and jawans over a cup of tea.

The Indian government should show more determination for improving ties as Prime Minister Narendra Modi "enjoys advantages towards achieving that goal", it quoted Qian a saying.

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The Sino-Indian boundary stretches over 3,488-km-long border, 220-km of which falls in Sikkim.

Meanwhile, Global Times - which has a reputation for criticising India - also carried an editorial. Later in the day during her interaction top military commanders of the Indian Army, Sitharaman admired the army for the professionalism of the Indian Army during events like Doklam standoff, and keeping the situation of insurgency in the North East states fairly under control.

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

"India isn't a major focus for China's worldwide strategy".

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