India is committed to peace and friendship, but this commitment to peace should not be seen as its weakness, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while sending a loaded message to China

While interacting with Indian army soldiers at Nimu in Ladakh on Friday, Prime Minister Modi delivered a firm message to China, stating “Era of expansionism is over.”

He reminded the people that “it is this mindset of expansionism that did great harm”(to world peace).

The Prime Minister said peace, friendship and courage have been a part of India’s culture since time immemorial, but it has “always given a befitting reply to anyone who has tried to disturb the prevailing atmosphere of peace and progress.”

He also said that India is committed to peace and friendship, but this commitment to peace should not be seen as its weakness.

“Today, India is becoming stronger, be it in naval might, air power, space power and the strength of our army. Modernization of weapons and upgradation of infrastructure has enhanced our defence capabilities multifold,” the Prime Minister said.

Indian soldiers had a long history of bravery and competence in global military campaigns, including in the two World wars, the Prime Minister said while paying rich tributes to the valour of Indian soldiers.

He said Indian soldiers’ courage and devotion to Mother India is unparalleled. Indians can go about their lives peacefully because they know that our soldiers are standing firm, protecting the nation.

The Prime Minister said that due to the exemplary bravery of the Armed Forces in recent weeks, the world has taken note of India’s strength.

In the last few years, the Prime Minister said, several steps have been taken for the wellbeing of India’s forces and furthering India’s security preparedness, including ensuring availability of modern weaponry, increased border infrastructure, border area development and expanding the roads network.

He further said that expenditure on border infrastructure has been enhanced three times.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the efforts to strengthen the national security apparatus and to ensure the well-being of our armed forces. He highlighted recent initiatives of the government such as creation of CDS, construction of a grand National War Memorial, fulfilment of OROP after decades and steps to ensure the well-being of the families of the armed forces personnel.

Earlier in the morning, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, the Prime Minister had arrived at Nimu, one of the forward locations in eastern Ladakh to stock of situation on the LAC where Indian and Chinese soldiers are standing face to face since early May.