China indulged in “unprovoked aggression” in eastern Ladakh but Indian troops demonstrated “exemplary courage” and “forced them to go back”, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
Speaking at an event organised by FICCI, Singh said that “the unprovoked aggression on our Himalayan frontiers is a reminder of how the world is changing, how existing agreements are being challenged, how power is being asserted not just in the Himalayas but across the Indo-Pacific, and how uncertain the future of the region and world could be in this backdrop”.
He stated that “there is big build-up of armed forces” at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.
“In these testing times our forces have shown exemplary courage and remarkable fortitude. They fought the PLA with utmost bravery and forced them to go back. The coming generations of this nation will be proud of what our forces have managed to achieve this year. Whenever there is a situation at the LAC, the most obvious outcome is a comparison between India and China’s military strength. But I don’t want to dwell on that. There can be a serious debate on who owns more military might but when it comes to soft power there is no scope of ambiguity. India is far ahead of China when it comes to leading the world with ideas.”
The Defence Minister said the “entire east Asia from Burma to Thailand to Indonesia and Malaysia, even Japan, there is a huge Indian cultural impact on all these countries” and “Buddhism had a monumental influence over China to an extent that before the 1949 revolution, almost 80 per cent of China’s population followed Buddhism”.
Quoting Chinese thinker Hu Shi, Singh said, “India has culturally dominated and controlled China for more than 2,000 years without sending a single soldier across the border”. This statement, he added, “underlines the fact that India as a civilisational state has been inspiring and influencing the world through its culture and soft power for centuries”.
“Due to its location, size, population and economy,” the defence minister stated, India has “always been at the strategic forefront of global security”.
“We have been victims of cross-border terrorism, yet have fought the scourge alone even when there was no one to support us but later, they understood we were right about Pakistan being the fountainhead of terrorism. And now again our brave forces are there in the forefront fighting icy winds to guard our borders and to fulfill their responsibility.”
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