Responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “expansionist nations” remark that he made during his speech in Ladakh, without mentioning China, a spokesperson of the Chinese government has termed the allegation “groundless and exaggerated”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertook a surprise visit on Friday to eastern Ladakh to meet troops amid a bitter Sino-India military standoff.

During his address to the Indian Army troops, PM Modi, without directly naming China, said, “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.

“Those who are weak can never initiate peace, bravery is a prerequisite for peace,” PM Modi said.

Responding to these remarks, spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in Delhi, Ji Rong, in a tweet said it is “groundless” to view China as “expansionist”, and claimed that China has demarcated the boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbouring countries peacefully.

China had earlier on Friday said neither side should make any move that may complicate the border situation. 

Modi visited Leh where he interacted with personnel of the Army, Air Force and ITBP. During his interaction, Modi, who was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief M M Naravane, said the era of expansionism is over and that India’s enemies have seen the “fire and fury” of its armed forces.

Reacting to Modi’s visit, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters that, “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.”

India on Thursday said it expected China to ensure expeditious restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas in sync with provisions of relevant bilateral pacts.

The Indian and Chinese armies are locked in a standoff in multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last seven weeks. Tensions escalated after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in Galwan Valley on June 15. After several days of silence, China acknowledged it suffered casualties but  is yet to give out the details.

At the briefing, Zhao also said that 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.


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