No word is more synonymous with China’s global conduct in the recent past than expansionism. Gorging countries with treacherous investment schemes through Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI)) is just a small offshoot of Beijing’s macro political agenda.
Beijing knows India is no destination for its BRI schemes’ machiavellian results. It had to devise something else and the Ladakh misadventure occurred. In this COVID-19 environment – while the whole world is grappling with the pandemic with the global economic system on its knees, and Despite the fact that China is being seen as the cause of it all – China has had the resolve to do what it did in Ladakh killing 20 Indian soldiers.
Although India is also in the grip of COVID-19 crisis with its infection rate increasing and death toll third highest in the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was under pressure to make a statement and send a message to China.
And so he did.
On Friday 3 July, Narendra Modi’s paid a surprise visit to Ladakh marking a historic first sending an unequivocal message to China declaring that the “era of expansionism is over”.
India and China have had a prolonged standoff after the June 15 violent clashes in the Galwan valley that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
In an address to troops, Modi paid tributes to the fallen soldiers and said tales of the bravery and valour of the armed forces were echoing in every part of the country:
“Enemies tasted fire and fury of our soldiers… Tales of your bravery and valour are echoing in every house across the country. Bharat Mata’s enemies have seen your fire and fury…”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
PM Modi has declared no misadventure of transgressing into the Indian territory would be tolerated. Bravery was a prerequisite for peace, said PM Modi, but the weak could never accomplish it, making it clear that India will not sit back and take any such misadventures lying down. It will reciprocate with lethal brutality and fire.
Modi visited Nimu in Ladakh and took a strategic review of the situation in the area. Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence and Gen MM Naravane Indian Army Chief accompanied the Prime Minister from Delhi.
There have been three rounds of Commander-level talks with Chinese counterpart Major General Liu Lin in Chushul and Moldo over the past one month.
Chinese misadventure occurred in the midst of official parleys were on.
PM Modi reiterated India’s commitment to peace and warned that it should not be seen as a weakness. Invoking Lord Krishna and saying: “We are the same people who pray to the flute-playing Lord Krishna, but we are also those who idolise the same Lord Krishna who carries the ‘Sudarshana Chakra’.”
Chinese has created a war-like situation in the Galwan valley, Hot Springs, Pangong Tso and other areas in eastern Ladakh. India and the world views this as part of Beijing’s expansionism designs.
Despite the pretence of entering into military and diplomatic talks at various levels and various rounds, China is refusing to retreat to the April 2020 position. Since 2013, China has engaged in five major altercations with India along the LAC.