In the strongest message to Beijing since the standoff between Chinese and Indian troops along the Line of Actual Control, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached Ladakh Friday, said the “era of expansionism is over” and “history is witness that such forces have been wiped out, or have been forced to turn around”.
Underlining that valour and strength are a precondition for peace, Modi reminded troops that “India has emerged stronger after every attack”.
Speaking in Nimu. India is proud of the courage of our armed forces. https://t.co/juUjqkAp6v
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 3, 2020
Making an unannounced visit to Ladakh after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh deferred his inspection of the situation on the ground, the Prime Minister, addressing troops at Nimu near Leh, paid rich tributes to the soldiers who died or were injured while defending the Galwan Valley — 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in clashes with Chinese troops on June 15.
“Aapki shaurya gathayein ghar-ghar mein goonj rahi hain aur Bharat Mata ke dushmano ne aapki fire bhi dekhi hai aur aapki fury bhi (Stories of your valour are echoing in every house. Mother India’s enemies have seen your fire and fury),” he said, referring to the Leh-based XIV Corps, also known as the Fire and Fury Corps that guards the LAC.
The Prime Minister spoke at length on the end of the era of expansionism, sending China a strong message over massing of troops along the LAC.
“Vistaarvaad ka yug samapt ho chuka hai. Yeh yug vikasvaad ka hai (The era of expansionism is over, this is the era of development). In this fast-changing world, only development is relevant. There is opportunity only for development, and it alone can be a basis for the future.”
In Pictures: PM Modi takes stock of India-China border situation
“In the centuries past, expansionism has tried to destroy mankind. Whenever anyone has been driven by expansionism, world peace has been threatened,” he said.
“History is witness that such forces have been wiped out, or have been forced to turn around. This has been the global experience. Based on that experience, the entire world decided against expansionism. Today the world is committed to development and welcomes competition in development,” he said.
The Prime Minister made no mention of China, but the message was not lost on Beijing. Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong, in a Twitter post, said: “China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbouring countries through peaceful negotiations, turning land borders into bonds of friendly cooperation. It’s groundless to view China as “expansionist”, exaggerate & fabricate its disputes with neighbours.”
In his address, Modi said “everybody accepts that peace and friendship are important for the progress of every country, world and mankind” but “we also know that the weak can never ensure peace, the weak can never initiate any step towards peace”.
“Veerta hi shanti ki purva-shart hoti hai (valour is the precondition for peace). If India is increasing its strength on water, land, air and space, then its aim is the welfare of mankind. The intention is the same in developing the latest arms and ammunition, bringing in the latest global technology for the forces. And India’s pace of modern infrastructure development carries the same message,” he said.
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