Indian, Chinese armies meet at Nathu La on New Year’s Day
THE armies of India and China met at Nathu La in Sikkim on Tuesday and exchanged pleasantries on New Year’s Day. “To enhance mutual trust and faith amongst troops of Indian Army and Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), (they) jointly celebrated New Year on 01 Jan at Nathu La by greeting each other and extending best wishes. The delegation was led by Colonel level officers @adgpi @SpokespersonMoD,” the Eastern Command of the Army said in a tweet. The armies of the two countries were locked in a stand-off at Doka La in 2017.
A ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) to celebrate the New Year was also held on Tuesday. “At the invitation of the PLA, a ceremonial BPM to celebrate the New Year was conducted on Tuesday at Chinese BPM hut at Chushul-Moldo and DBO (Daulat Beg Oldie)-TWD (Ten Wen Den) meeting points in eastern Ladakh,” a defence spokesperson said.
He said the Indian delegation was led by Major General Sanjiv Rai and Colonel S S Lamba and the Chinese delegation was led by Senior Colonel Liu Hou Jie and Colonel Song Zhang Li respectively. “Both the delegations interacted in a free, congenial and cordial environment. The delegations parted amidst feeling of friendship and commitment towards enhancing the existing cordial relations and maintaining peace along the border. Both sides also sought to build on the mutual feeling to maintain peace and tranquility along the border,” the spokesperson said.
The BPM comes in the backdrop of successful conduct of the 7th round of Hand-in-Hand military drills by the militaries of neighbouring countries at Chengdu in China. Indian and Chinese troops also celebrated the New Year in Bumla in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh, 15,000 feet above the sea level and amid sub-zero temperatures, a defence communique said.
Both sides greeted each other warmly and reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control as per the various agreements between the two nations.
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