Nirmala Sitharaman-Chinese soldiers video viral in China: Goodwill gesture hailed
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s unscripted interaction with Chinese soldiers on the border has not only gone viral in India, but also in China, where both experts and internet users on Sunday welcomed her “goodwill” gesture. Sitharaman during a visit to Nathu La interacted with Chinese soldiers at the border, teaching them how to say namaste. They responded with “ni hao”, and the video has since gone viral.
Several Chinese media outlets have also shared the video of Sitharaman teaching Chinese soldiers the meaning of namaste, and Chinese internet users have welcomed her interaction with their army as a sign of improving ties after the 72-day stand-off at Doklam.
“The Indian woman defence minister directly faced the tough border problem. Such a brave woman,” wrote Tu Yueyue on the Chinese Twitter equivalent Sina Weibo.
“I am happy to see this peaceful scene,” posted Zhui Zhui, another blogger.
Most of the comments on Weibo were positive, although some said the Chinese Army’s interpreter was “too humble”.
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 Party-run Global Times newspaper.
“Though leaders of the two countries are exploring more cooperation, the focus and priority of the two countries is to avoid friction and conflict,” added expert Hu Shisheng.
The Global Times, a hardline paper, in a separate editorial said that the defence minister’s “friendly interactions with Chinese soldiers” had “diluted” what it called her “aggressive gesture” of inspecting border areas during her visit.
The hawkish paper, as it usually does, continued to hit out at “Indian nationalists over-estimating India’s strength and rights, assuming New Delhi can bark orders across the border at Beijing.”
“New Delhi needs to exercise restraint. It can only strengthen military infrastructure on its own soil when and where international law permits. It should consider deepening strategic security communication with China, which can enhance mutual trust between China and India,” it said.
“China advocates good-neighbourliness and exercises enormous restraint and patience during the Doklam crisis,” it added.
“India should try to keep its security concerns at a reasonable level, but it would be hysterical if New Delhi risked peace and development for security worries. China’s infrastructure construction in the Doklam region is logical, but India’s strong reaction is eccentric. Indian society is sensitive and arrogant, and Indian media is amplifying nationalism. India must overcome its paranoia and China has no obligation to indulge India’s capriciousness.”
Source:- India Today