Free Press Journal

Def Min to visit China in April


New Delhi: Defence Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday confirmed that she will be visiting neighbouring China soon, months after a period of tension where troops from the two nuclear-capable nations were involved in a standoff near the border in Sikkim sector.

“Yes, it’s going to be probably in late April,” Sitharaman said in response to questions from media persons on the sidelines of a seminar here. She, however, added that the agenda is yet to be finalised. The Defence Ministry had last week denied that the Minister was going to visit China.

China tried to build a road in a territory claimed by Bhutan in June last year, and was stopped by India, resulting in a 73-day standoff at the Sino-Indian border in Sikkim sector.

The standoff started on June 16 and both sides announced disengagement on August 28.

The standoff had led to tension between the two nuclear-armed nations, and during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in December, India had stressed that peace along the India-China border is a pre-requisite for strong bilateral relations.