New Delhi July 4 (New Indian Express): Sending out a strong signal to China, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the days of expansionism were over and that India’s commitment to peace should not be interpreted by any country as a sign of weakness.
“The era of expansionism has come to an end. This is the era of development. History has proved that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back,” he said while addressing troops during a surprise visit to Nimu in Ladakh.
Paying tribute to the courage and devotion of Indian soldiers, Modi said “the enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces.”
The world had taken note of India’s strength and the exemplary bravery of the armed forces, the Prime Minister said.
Although he did not mention China even once in his address, it was clear he was referring to India’s northern neighbour.
Reacting to Modi’s speech, the Chinese embassy here said it was wrong to view China as expansionist and to fabricate its disputes with its neighbours.
“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 and fabricate its disputes with neighbours,” tweeted Ji Rong, the Chinese Embassy spokesperson.
The PM’s visit came on a day when India also reached out diplomatically to the US, Germany, France, Russia and Japan. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla briefed the countries on the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“Had a good talk with FS Shringla. Appreciated his briefing on the situation along LAC, including GOI’s policy to pursue peaceful resolution. Japan also hopes for peaceful resolution through dialogues. Japan opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo,” Japanese envoy to India Satoshi Suzuki tweeted.
During his interaction with the troops, the Prime Minister spoke at length about how the virtues of peace, friendship and courage have been a part of India’s culture. India has always given a befitting reply to anyone who has tried to disturb peace, he noted.
“India is stronger today, be it in naval might, air power, space power or the strength of our army. Modernisation of weapons and upgradation of infrastructure has enhanced our defence capabilities multifold,” Modi said, adding that India’s spending on border infrastructure has been enhanced almost three times.
The Prime Minister also visited the military hospital in Leh and interacted with soldiers who were injured during the border clash with China on June 15. Modi was accompanied by Chief of the Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen M M Naravane.
Modernisation of armed forces a priority: Modi
Speaking to soldiers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said modernisation of the armed forces is a priority.
“India manufactures modern weapons today. We are bringing modern technology from around the world,” he said
Miffed China says don’t complicate matters
Reacting to Modi’s visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said India and China are in touch via military and diplomatic channels and “neither side should make any move that may complicate the border situation”
Japan throws its weight behind India
Japan on Friday extended support to India over its border stand-off with China. “Japan opposes any unilateral attempts to change the status quo,” said Japanese Ambassador Satosh