Indian Prime Minister makes an unannounced visit to the disputed region with China

Indian Prime Minister makes an unannounced visit to the disputed region with China

On Friday, July 3rd, In the midst of tension between India and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech to the soldiers stationed at the military base in Ladakh, an area that has been of conflict between both nations for the past two months.

Through his speech, the Indian Prime Minister acknowledged the bravery of the combatants and praised their courage. Modi strived to motivate the troops to continue their mission and he stated that the world was “praising the bravery shown by Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley”.

Modi avouched that India was going to rise after this situation as he said “after every crisis, India has emerged stronger.”

The Prime Minister also emphasized the importance of modernizing the weapons utilized by the army and defined it as a priority to the nation. He stated that the wellbeing and protection of the country and the troops was crucial and to ensure this the government has already tripled the spending for the infrastructure in the border.

“India is manufacturing modern weapons today. We are bringing modern technology from around the world for the armed forces. The spirit behind it is the same. If India is building modern infrastructure at a fast pace, then the message behind it is the same.” He added

The unexpected visit left many wondering about its real intention and underlying message. Several Chinese analysts stated that Modi’s actions were an attempt to divert the publics attention away from the government’s response to the coronavirus. In contrast, the national media classified the visit as a “surprise” and praised the Prime Minister for wanting to encourage the troops during these difficult times. Some local news sources also stated that the government was looking to send China a message.

Although no messages directly targeted Beijing, many associated neighbouring nation with the claims the Prime Ministers made in regards to expansionist nations.

“Days of expansionism are over. Expansionism creates danger for world peace. This is an era of development. Expansionist forces have either lost or forced to turn back” said Modi.

The Spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in India directly responded to these critiques through twitter and stated “China has demarcated boundary with 12 of its 14 neighbouring countries through peaceful negotiations, turning land borders into bonds of friendly cooperation. Its groundless to view China as “expansionist”, exaggerate & fabricate its disputes with neighbours”

The Official spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also commented about the visit and merely said “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”.

This visit came only two weeks after the confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh on June 15th that sparked the rise of tension amongst the two nations. The battle resulted in the loss of 20 Indian troops. Several Chinese soldiers also lost their lives but the government did not release any official number.

Sophie Velloso

Sophie Velloso is studying International Relations at Richmond the American International University in London. She is focusing her studies in the areas of transnational public affairs. She has an interest in geopolitics, international security, and sustainable development.