Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Nirmala Sitharaman to visit China in April

Nirmala Sitharaman to visit China in April

In an overture that is expected to signal a thaw in the icy India-China bilateral ties, especially during and after the Doklam standoff, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said she will go to China on an official visit next month.

Ms Sitharaman also said the government has responded to all the queries of the Congress in detail related to the Rafale deal. Answering to a question on her visit to China, she said, "Yes it's going to be probably in late April".

Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today attended International Conference on Military Ammunition: Make in India Opportunities and Challenges.

She also said that she doesn't have the agenda for the visit as yet. The standoff had strained ties considerably between the two countries.

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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.

Despite the disengagement of troops from the Doklam site, the coldness between the two countries over the issue still persists.

In December a year ago, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on key bilateral issues.

Her predecessor Manohar Parrikar was the last Indian defence minister to travel to the communist country in March 2016. The high-level meet will be aimed to cement the relations between India and China.

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