China's official media today welcomed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's greetings to the PLA soldiers at the Sikkim border, saying her "charm offensive" might help break the ice between Chinese and Indian public opinion following the Dokalam standoff.
Sitharaman had a brief conversation with People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops during her maiden visit to the Nathu La border post in Sikkim on Sunday and was even seen teaching them how to say 'Namaste'.
"China welcomes Sitharaman's greeting and hopes this friendly gesture is also welcomed by Indians. Sitharaman's charm offensive might help break the ice between Chinese and Indian public opinion," state-run daily Global Times said in a much more toned down editorial, compared to the one on the same topic yesterday.
Sitharaman's visit to the border regions as Defence Minister can be easily interpreted as New Delhi's push to intensify combat readiness against Beijing, the report said.
"But Sitharaman's traditional Namaste greeting to the Chinese soldiers sent another signal to the public that might not erase the first impression but may at least balance things out," it said.
The tabloid, which has been carrying stridently anti- India rhetoric for past several months, said in its editorial yesterday that "Some Indian nationalists over-estimate India's strength and rights, assuming New Delhi can bark orders across the border at Beijing".
"India's concerns about the Siliguri Corridor's security are understandable, but New Delhi cannot mess around", it said, adding that China is also concerned about the transport route security across the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, but Beijing has not taken "coercive measures to achieve its aims".
In today's editorial it said, "Indians must overcome the paranoia that suggests their country is strategically thwarted and threatened by Beijing".
The report said India also needs to give up its pursuit of support from the US and Japan to deploy "as a bargaining chip against Beijing".
Troops of India and China were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Dokalam since June 16 after the Indian side stopped the building of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The standoff ended on August 28.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)