By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, July 3: In what is being seen as a move by India in telling off Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to the Nimoo forward base near Leh on Friday. The PM interacted and lauded the courage of the troops there and signaled India’s intent to respond if provoked by China.
“The age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back,” the Prime Minister said during his speech at Nimoo base. The PM who did not mention China, also said, “The weak can never accomplish peace, the brave does.”
In an apparent response to the Indian PM, a Chinese Embassy Spokesperson in New Delhi tweeted, “China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbouring countries through peaceful negotiations, turning land borders into bonds of friendly cooperation. It is groundless to view China as ‘expansionist’, exaggerate and fabricate its disputes with neighbours.”
Modi who was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General MM Naravane met with the military leadership based in Ladakh and also met with injured soldiers from the clash at Galwan valley recently.
Last Sunday the Indian leader made a retaliatory remark following offensive Chinese tactics at the LAC, “Those who cast an evil eye on Indian soil in Ladakh have got a befitting response. India honours the spirit of friendship… she is also capable of giving an appropriate response to any adversary, without shying away. Our brave soldiers have proven that they will not let anyone cast an evil eye on the glory and honour of Mother India,” PM Modi said.
The build up of troops and arms on the either side of the LAC has many concerned of an impending war between the two nuclear capable nations. While experts have said that an all out war is a distant possibility, escalation of the already tense situation may be seen in the coming weeks.
The military confrontation has also stretched to other spheres with India announcing ban on procuring telecommunication equipments from Chinese companies as well as ban on 59 Chinese Apps. A popular Chinese App, Tik Tok’s parent company ByteDance is expected to suffer a loss of Rs 45,000 crore (USD 6 billion), analysts say.