NEW DELHI: Taking a swipe at China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the world has come together to reject expansionism that had posed a challenge for the global community, adding that countries were now focused on development.

Addressing Indian Army, Indian Air Force and personnel of the paramilitary force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Nimu in Ladakh on his brief visit to the region, Modi did not name China even once.

But his remarks slamming expansionism were a clear indication of whom it was targeted at.

"Expansionism had consistently represented a test to world harmony," Modi said in a 26-minute discourse. Those rehearsing the idea have been either wiped out or they have needed to withdraw, Modi said. 

"The present reality has dismissed expansionism and is currently centered exclusively around advancement," and was inviting this, he said. 

Given China's transition to guarantee regional waters in the South China Sea and East China Sea, other than connecting with India in a military deadlock over its moves to change the state of affairs on the Line of Actual Control, it was clear Modi's message was proposed for Beijing. 

In his discourse, Modi additionally paid rich tributes to the boldness and chivalry of Indian soldiers positioned at statures of 11,000 feet above ocean level and higher scope forward posts guarding the nation.

He also condoled the deaths of 19 Indian soldiers and a colonel rank officer in a clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on 15 June.

“After every attack India has made a strong comeback," Modi said adding that India had defeated all challenges it had faced and come back stronger.

India believes in peace and friendship, he said but “We also know that the weak cannot accomplish peace, the brave do."

The government was making sure that the Indian military had the latest equipment and modern technology to defend the country, he said. Besides this, the government had also tripled expenditure on infrastructure along the borders to ensure that supplies reached the furthest post as quickly as possible, Modi said.

Soon after his arrival in Leh on Friday morning on a surprise visit, Modi was given a briefing of the situation along the 3,488 kilometre Line of Actual Control. Modi also visited soldiers injured in the 15 June clash with the Chinese troops at a military hospital in Leh, news reports said.

Modi is now set to return to New Delhi and on his arrival is to meet Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar besides other senior ministers to discuss the situation following the rise in tensions with China.
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