Nirmala Sitharaman to visit Nathu La along with Army chief

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Sitharam, who was in Sikkim for a day, travelled to Nathu La by road and interacted with army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) officials.

On Indian Defence Minister's arrival, PLA troops across the border started taking pictures of her.

In some of the other shared pictures of the visit she was seen making the arduous road journey to the border pass and sharing candies with the Indian soldiers posted on the border.

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The defence minister also sat in the cockpit of a static MiG29 fighter aircraft during her visit, said the release.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a visit to the state of Sikkim, on Sunday had an interesting interaction with Chinese soldiers at Nathu La border. Halfway through, the defence minister greets the officers' colleagues with a "namaste" and then proceeds to explain what the Hindi word means. The Chinese soldiers returned her greeting saying namaste.

Notably, the Indian government has maintained that the situation at the border has not changed since both the countries reached an agreement over Doklam standoff.

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Chief of Eastern Command Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna briefed her about the security preparedness at the Indo-China border in the Sikkim Sector.

The defence minister's visit to the border area comes more than a month since Indian and Chinese troops disengaged after almost a 70-day standoff at Dokalam. During her visit she also interacted with Chief Minister of Sikkim, Pawan Chamling.

Though Sitharaman's aerial survey of Doklam and forward posts in border areas of Sikkim was cancelled on Saturday due to bad weather, she undertook an aerial survey of Gangtok and surrounding areas from the new Greenfield Pakyong Airport in east Sikkim.

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