In an early morning surprise visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanied by Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief (CAS) General MM Naravane reached Nimu, Ladakh days after the violent Sino-Indian face off at the Galwan Valley on June 15. Modi, in his speech during the one-day visit, said, “ The age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness to the fact that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back”. The Indian PM indirectly delivered a message to the Chinese at a height of 11,000 feet.
In a bid to commemorate the martyrdom of the brave hearts, PM visited the War Memorial. He also visited the Army General Hospital to boost the morale and show gratitude to the army men who bravely fought during the Galwan Valley clash.
Though Modi did name China directly, there was no doubt about his intention considering the recent events that happened near the border and China’s move claiming islands and territorial waters in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. He applauded the Leh 14 Corps which is known as the Fire and Fury Corps, and added that India’s enemies have seen her “fire and fury”.
The PM held a Sindhu Darshan puja, which is a 3-day event celebrating the river Sindhu’s (Indus) modesty. It is held on a full moon day and recognizes the river as a symbol of unity and communal harmony. PM Modi also said that India would not stop building roads and bridges in the border area, which is believed to have been the cause of China’s aggression.
India is already boycotting Chinese imports and recently banned 59 Chinese apps. The world’s leading companies like Google, PepsiCo and Microsoft are headed by Indians, therefore it is no shock to see Indian apps immediately replacing the banned Chinese apps. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is anticipating a loss of $ 6 billion. Indian Union ministers have also asserted that India will stop buying Chinese equipment for power stations, along with announcing that Chinese construction organisations will also be prohibited from building road projects in India.
As media reports surfaced in May pointed towards a procurement of Harbin Z-20 helicopter by China’s People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF), India is no incoherent power to turn a deaf ear to this. India has always aimed at peaceful coexistence and cordial relations with its allies and neighbors, but India is mighty enough to announce its military preparedness in case of exigencies.
According to Janes, India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has approved the INR181.48 billion (USD2.43 billion) procurement of 21 Mikoyan MiG-29 and 12 Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF) amid heightened tensions between India and China over a border dispute along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in the Himalayas. Janes also reported that In the February 2020 Defense Expo, India introduced two new infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), the Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP) and an upgraded variant of the BMP-2/2K Sarath, in Lucknow.
The Tiger and Dragon should look at coexisting and deterrence!