Era of expansionism is over: Modi | The Daily Star
05:54 PM, July 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:59 PM, July 03, 2020

Era of expansionism is over: Modi

Indian PM makes surprise visit to Ladakh military base

In an apparent dig at China, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that "the era of expansionism is over".

The Indian premier said this while paying a surprise visit to forward positions in Ladakh in his first trip to the area since a deadly border clash between Indian and Chinese troops on June 15, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

Modi today toured a military base at Nimu in Ladakh, about 100 kilometres from the site of the June 15 clash.

Addressing the troops at the military base, Modi said, "The weak can never achieve peace, the brave do".

"You have proven time and again that the Indian Armed Force is mightier and better than everyone else in the world. What you have done here, the message you have sent, is a message that has reached the world. It has been a bold statement," Modi told the Indian troops.

"The time for expansionism is over. This is the era of development," he also said, adding that it is this mindset of expansionism that did great harm.

He paid rich tributes to the Indian soldiers who were martyred at Galwan Valley on June 15 and said they "belong to all parts of India and epitomise our land's ethos of bravery".

"Be it Leh-Ladakh, Kargil or the Siachen Glacier, be it the high mountains or the icy cold water that flows in the rivers, these are testimony to the gallantry of India's armed forces. The enemies of India have seen the fire and fury of our forces," said PM Modi.

In the last few years, several steps have been taken for the wellbeing of India's forces and furthering the country's security preparedness including availability of modern weaponry, increased border infrastructure, border area development and expanding the roads network, he added.

The incident in the Galwan Valley saw 20 Indian troops killed in combat with Chinese troops on June 15.

It was the first time in 45 years that soldiers died in combat along the unresolved frontier on the Himalayas.

China also reportedly suffered casualties but Beijing never officially confirmed it.

India and China have so far held several rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks over the border dispute but are apparently yet to make much headway.

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