Shortly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech in Ladakh where he said expansionists must learn to mend their ways or perish, China responded to say it is "groundless" to view Beijing as "expansionist".
"China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighboring 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," said Ji Rong, spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in India.
#China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighboring 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.— Ji Rong (@ChinaSpox_India) July 3, 2020
Sending a strong message to China, Modi on Friday said the era of expansionism is over and that India's enemies have seen the "fire and fury" of its armed forces as he made a surprise visit to Ladakh in the midst of a tense border standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in a number of areas in the region.
Reacting to Modi's visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian earlier said, "China and India are in communication with each other through military and diplomatic channels. Neither side should make any move that may complicate the border situation."
Zhao also said Beijing will take necessary measures to uphold the legitimate rights of its businesses in India following New Delhi's decision to bar Chinese firms from taking part in road projects and amid reports of delay in customs clearances of shipments of Chinese firms.
"The Indian side should not have strategic miscalculation on China. We hope it will work with China to uphold the overall picture of our bilateral relations," he said.
In an address to troops, Modi paid glowing tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley clashes and said tales of the bravery and valour of the armed forces are echoing in every part of the country.
"Bharat Mata's enemies have seen your fire and fury," Modi said in an apparent reference to the Galwan Valley clashes, adding bravery is a pre-requisite for peace and that the weak can never accomplish it.
Modi said the world has taken note of India's strength due to the "exemplary bravery" of the armed forces in the recent weeks, adding history is proof that "expansionists" have either lost or perished.
"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.
"Your courage is higher than the heights where you are serving today. When the safety of the country is in your hands, then there is a belief. Not only me, but the entire nation believes in you. We all are proud of you," he added.
Modi was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief Gen MM Naravane.
"Whether during the world wars or peace, the world has seen the victory of our brave soldiers and their efforts towards peace," he said amid chants of 'Vande Mataram'.
(With inputs from agencies)