Gangtok, August 15
There was no ceremonial meeting between officers of the Indian and Chinese armies on the Independence Day on Tuesday at the strategic Nathu La border amid the continued standoff at Doklam, but personnel from two sides exchanged sweets.
The Army and ITBP personnel took part in the informal exchange of sweets at Nathu La, barely 25 km from Doklam where the two armies are face-to-face for over two months now, Army sources said.
Earlier, a ceremonial meeting used to take place between the two sides on India’s Independence Day which was attended by officers of the Chinese Army.
The Army also celebrated the occasion by distributing sweets to the local people.
Sikkim shares international borders with China, Nepal and Bhutan. It shares a 220.7 km border with China, 95.6 km with Nepal and 32 km with Bhutan, and is connected to the country through a narrow 27 km stretch of land known as the ‘chicken’s neck’.
Speaking at the day’s main function in Gangtok, Chief Minister Pawan K Chamling said the state’s location showed its strategic importance for the unity and integrity of the nation.
“Our people are like unpaid soldiers defending our motherland. Unbounded peace and harmony for people living in the border states are great assets for the nation.
“I am pleased to say that the state government of Sikkim and every Sikkimese citizen stand solidly behind the Centre to safeguard the integrity and sovereignty of our great nation,” he added. PTI
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