Insecure Chinese media tries again to defend the indefensible

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman waves at Chinese soldiers during a visit to Nathu La

Sitharaman's interaction with the People's Liberation Army troops at Nathu La with Namaste diplomacy also appears to have struck a chord across the border as Chinese commentators said it sent a "goodwill signal" to mend the bilateral ties following the Dokalam standoff.

Sitharaman greets the officers with folded hands and a "namaste".

Another source was quoted as saying by the Times of India that Sitharaman was indeed fearless as there is no woman in the senior ranks of the Communist Party and government in China.

Greeting them with a customary "namaste", she asked the PLA officials if they knew what it meant.

But it noted that she had friendly interactions with Chinese soldiers in Nathu La.

The Defence Minister then went near the fences and interacted with Chinese soldiers.

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Nathu La is close to the Doklam plateau, the site of the recent 70-day-long standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies. While the Centre has rejected media reports of a "sizeable" Chinese troops presence in Doklam, the neighbouring country reiterated that Doklam belongs to them.

Although India doesn't expect another "flashpoint" in the area, the assessment is that China could attempt a stronger intrusion at another location on the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) - possibly at Barahoti in Uttaranchal, in the central sector.

The conference over the next two days will see top commanders of the IAF discussing various issues that will decide the future trajectory of the Air Force, including operations, maintenance issues and various administrative initiatives. Reports said that the minister had to cancel an aerial survey of Doklam and border posts due to bad weather.

A static display of various aircrafts that had operated from the base as well as weapon systems were shown to the defence minister during her visit to the Air Traffic Control Centre there, said a release by the Defence PRO for Gujarat.

Defence Minister stressed on the fact that IAF should focus on "Make-in-India" in Force. Vice-Chief of Army Lt Gen Sarath Chandra was also present there.

A man walks inside a conference room used for meetings between military commanders of China and India, at the Indian side of the Indo-China border at Bumla, in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, in 2009. She had visited the Northern Command areas in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly the Siachen camp on Vijayadashami day.

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