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Def Min Sitharaman Meets Chinese Troops On Border, Teaches Meaning Of 'Namaste'

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| October 8 , 2017 , 21:25 IST

Visiting the India-China border, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday interacted with some Chinese soldiers at Nathu-la and taught them the meaning of Indian greeting "namaste" as the soldier introduces his colleagues.

The official twitter account Defence Minister tweeted the video of the entire incident saying, " Snippet of Smt Nirmala Sitharaman interacting with Chinese soldiers at the border at Nathu-la in Sikkim yesterday. Namaste!"

Sitharaman greeted the troops with folded hands in "namaste" and asks the soldiers whether they knew what that meant saying, "Do you know what 'namaste' is".

As an Indian soldier approaches to end the quiz by telling the answer, the Defence Minister signalled him to wait. As it turns out, the Chinese soldier almost guessed the answer correctly.

He said uncertainly, "Nice to meet you?"

Then the minister asked the soldier what that would translate into Chinese, to which the soldier replied, "Ni hao."

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The Defence Minister then complimented the People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel on his English speaking skills. The officer was the senior-most personnel of the troop.

The friendly interaction of India's top official with Chinese troops at the border comes days merely weeks after India and China ended their two-month-long stand-off in Doklam over a land dispute in the region.

The Defence Minister also arrived at Assam's Tezpur on Sunday as part of her maiden visit to the Eastern Command in order to celebrate the occasion of 85th Air Force Day with Army Vice Chief Lt Gen Sarath Chand and Eastern Command Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna.

The visit which is part of Sitharaman's familiarization with all the formations of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) comes close on the heels of her visit to Northern Command recently and her visit to Sikkim on Saturday. She also reviewed the operational readiness of the airbase, seeing the Sukhoi fighter aircraft and other IAF assets at first-hand.