A gesture of goodwill on the China-India border – China’s latest political and current affairs news


A summary of the top news in Chinese politics and current affairs for October 9, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

India’s defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has been in office for just over a month, and on October 8 she tried a fresh approach to calming renewed tensions on the border between her country and China. Sithamaran posted two short clips on Twitter (1, 2) of her personally interacting with Chinese army officials on the border, which India Today reports were spread widely and generally well received on social media in both India and China.

In the videos, Sithamaran asks the Chinese border guard, “Do you know what namaste means?” One soldier replies, “It means ‘nice to meet you.’” She then asks, “What would you say in Chinese?” The soldier responds, “Nihao (你好 nǐhǎo; hello).” After exchanging greetings, a commander on the Chinese side adds, “India and China are both great nations. Good luck to your country.”