Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made her maiden visit at the sensitive area of Sikkim, during which, he unscripted interaction with Chinese troops was seen as a ‘goodwill gesture’ by both Chinese and Indian.
Indo-Chinese dispute over the territory at Doklam tri-junction was cooled off on August 28th after mutual discussions, but over last few days, the presence of Chinese military troops at Doklam has rose dispute in the area. Amid all this, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman made her first visit at Sikkim and in the disputed regions too. During this, DM made brief interactions with the Chinese army men at Nathu La border post in Sikkim and was even seen teaching them how to say ‘Namaste’.
— Raksha Mantri (@DefenceMinIndia) October 8, 2017
The video snippets of this brief talks between the Indian DM and the PLA army men went viral across social media, and not just in India, but in China too. The friendly ‘namaste’ from Indian defence minister at Sikkim was seen as a ‘goodwill’ signal by both neighbouring countries. Some Chinese media even see it as a willingness from both sides to mend ties after the Doklam crisis. A Beijing based scholar said that China-India relations have entered a “new era of crisis management” and both sides should actively seek to “fix stagnated ties”.
Although it is good to see the peaceful and friendly scenario at the international borders of India and China, and that the Chinese see it as a goodwill gesture towards putting back the relations to normalcy; one must not forget how invincible Chinese policies are. It would be an ideal world if a friendly Namaste at the border check posts were capable of mending ties between two countries at territorial dispute and a struggling relations since almost three years. But it is still good to see that leaders of both countries are exploring ways to rejuvenate relations and cooperation.