- Nirmala Sitharaman visited Indian troops at border in Sikkim
- Defence Minister seen talking to Chinese soldiers
- Chinese media, usually tough on India, praises her gesture
Ms Sitharaman, the country's first woman defence minister, visited the forward post at Nathu La to interact with Indian troops. But it was a video of her chatting with Chinese soldiers that went viral. The minister demonstrated "namaste" to the Chinese soldiers. "Ni hao" (hello), they said in response to her along with practicing a few namastes.
State-run English news channel CGTN carried parts of the footage with the caption "Indian defence minister greets Chinese border soldiers".
"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, told the state-run nationalist tabloid Global Times.
The conflict was de-escalated just days ahead of PM Modi's visit to China for a regional summit.
NDTV reported last week that China has begun expanding another road on the Doklam Plateau with 500 soldiers covering the construction crew.
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