Weeks after Indian and Chinese troops clashed at Galwan Valley, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a visit to Leh, Ladakh on Friday.
Modi’s visit comes amid the border standoff with China and the military sittings between the two armies.
Reports claim Mr. Modi was accompanied by the chief of defence staff, General Bipin Rawat, and the chief of the army, General Manoj Mukund Naravane at a base in Ladakh’s Nimu area. He also interacted with injured soldiers at a military hospital.
The prime minister delivered a 26-minute speech. In his address he said that the bravery of Indian troops was unparalleled.
“Your courage is higher than the heights where you all are stationed. Your arms are as strong as the mountains that surround you. Your confidence, determination and belief is as immovable as the peaks here,” Modi said.
India and China have engaged in aggressive face-offs at various locations along the 3,488km long border.
In late May, Chinese forces objected to Indian road construction in the Galwan River valley. Reports of Chinese incursions at various points in the Pangong lake, Galwan Valley and Hot Springs in the Ladakh region surfaced.
An unusual fighting on 15/16 June 2020 resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers. Indian media reported fatality of of 43 Chinese soldiers but this has been tight lipped by the Chinese government.
Later, 10 Indians captured during the face-off were released on June 18.
Both nations since then have lifted troops, artillery and heavy weapons along the disputed region. India has been aggressive and is continuing to build roads along the border.
Mr. Modi’s visit today was about 250 odd kilometers, 6 hours by road from the site where the deadly clash between Indian and Chinese troops took place.
Meanwhile, the ongoing faceoff has triggered a campaign to boycott Chinese goods and products. There are reports of various Chinese containers stuck at Indian ports. The state of Maharashtra has put on hold Chinese investment. The Indian Government recently banned 59 Chinese applications including popular short video format app, TikTok, claiming privacy and data security.