Defence Minister Nimala Sitharaman To Visit China Next Month

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses an international conference on military ammunition in New Delhi on Monday

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman addresses an international conference on military ammunition in New Delhi on Monday

Almost eight months after the Doklam crisis, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be travelling to China to further the bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries that fought a battle more than 50 years ago.

The visit was confirmed by Sitharaman herself on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi.

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The site says while there were no cameras allowed inside the event, the two were seen getting cozy in the VIP section. As with most Internet he said-she said, social media was split and the jokes at both party's expenses were flying.

Replying to a question on her China visit, Sitharaman told reporters "Yes, (the visit is) probably sometime in late April".

But the Doklam crisis came in between the two ministerial visits as the border guarding troops from two sides had a 72-day face-off at Doklam a disputed site near India-China-Bhutan tri-junction between June and August, last year. Earlier this month, a news report in The Indian Express said that the Indian foreign secretary had written a letter to cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha in which he had asked state leaders and officials to stay away from the functions of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. The standoff had strained ties considerably between the two countries.

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In December a year ago, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on key bilateral issues. "You may also note that Foreign Minister Wang Yi at his press conference on March 8, talked about China's perspective on China-India ties as well as its basic stance on developing China-India relations".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday appreciated Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and team for their stupendous efforts during the rescue operations in the Theni forest fire.

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