In a strong message to China delivered from Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that age of expansion is now over, and history is proof that expansionists have always perished.
"The age of expansion is over. This is the age of progress, progress is future. The age of expansion is where humanity has suffered," the PM said in his 26-minute address at Nimu in Leh district of Ladakh.
Describing the bravery of Indian troops as unparalleled, the Prime Minister saluted the soldiers facing Chinese troops in Ladakh during his surprise visit.
“In these difficult circumstances, you are the shield of the motherland,” the Prime Minister told the soldiers from the Army, Air Force and the ITBP.
"Your courage is higher than the heights where you all are stationed. Your arms are as strong as the mountains that surround you. Your confidence, determination and belief is as immovable as the peaks here," he said.
PM Modi, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, and Army Chief General MM Naravane, was flown by chopper to Nimu, 11,000 feet up in the Himalayas and on the banks of the river Indus.
The bravery of 14 Corps will be talked about everywhere. Tales of your bravery and valour are echoing in every house in the country: PM Modi in Ladakh pic.twitter.com/nCB9vRu9Ok— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2020
Modi said his visit had shown him that the will of the Indian soldiers was as strong as the mountains, and this gives the people an unshakeable belief in them.
"Every single Indian across the world, especially in India, has the belief that you all can deliver and keep the nation strong and safe. No can compete with that in the world," he added.
Watch shortly: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to soldiers in Nimmoo, Ladakh. pic.twitter.com/fvmwtUX66i— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2020
This was the first visit by a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security since the June 15 clash in Ladakh where 20 soldiers were killed in line of duty in a face-off with Chinese troops, and will serve as a big morale booster for the troops.
The PM said that the conditions in which Indian soldiers deliver their best are among the toughest in the world, and assured that modern weapons and infrastructure or equipment will reach them.
"You have proven time and again that the Indian armed force is mightier and better than everyone else in the world. From Leh to Ladakh, from Kargil to Siachen, all regions have witnessed the bravery of our army. Tales of your courage echoes in every home," he said.
Modi had reached Ladakh around 9.30 am and he earlier interacted with soldiers at the military hospital in Leh and was also briefed about the on-ground situation at the Line of Actual Control.