LADAKH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday in an apparent warning to China said that this is not the age of expansionism but the age of development. "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," Modi said.
Addressing Army, Air Force and ITBP personnel during his surprise visit to Ladakh, he said India's resolve for ''Atmanirbhar Bharat'' (self-reliant India) becomes stronger because of you and your strong resolve.
The PM said the bravery shown by the soldiers has sent a message about the strength of India. He paid tributes to the 20 Army men killed in a violent face off with Chinese troops in east Ladakh.
He told the personnel that their will power is as strong and firm as the Himalayas and the whole country is proud of them.
"The bravery that you and your compatriots showed, a message has gone to the world about India’s strength...Your courage is higher than the heights where you are posted today," PM Modi said.
"Those who are weak can never initiate peace, bravery is a pre-requisite for peace...Whether World Wars or peace, whenever the need arises, the world has seen the victory of our braves and their efforts towards peace. We have worked for the betterment of humanity," he said.
On women soldiers in combat roles, PM Modi said, "I am looking at women soldiers in front of me. In the battlefield at the border this view is inspiring....Today I speak of your glory."
He also said that the government has increased expenditure on development on infrastructure in the border area by three times.
The prime minister on Friday reached Leh where he interacted with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP. Modi, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, reached Leh around 9.30 am and then proceeded to Nimmoo in Ladakh.
Located at 11,000 feet, Nimmoo is among the toughest terrains on the banks of river Indus and is surrounded by the Zanskar range.
Your courage is higher than the heights where you are posted today: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing soldiers in Ladakh pic.twitter.com/pLSpPsz45e— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2020
#WATCH "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," PM Modi in #Ladakh pic.twitter.com/0GzeF0K4ul— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2020