The most important message that would go across to the Chinese would be that days of “Fait Accompli”, similar to earlier occasions are over and India will stand up to any land grab through force and restore status quo.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Leh is a clear signal to China of India’s resolve to stand firm in the face of Chinese incursions in Ladakh. The visit could not have come at a more appropriate time. “The visit is not symbolic and carries a meaning to be conveyed to our belligerent neighbour hell-bent on creating instability for its expansionist designs,” opine experts.
Sharing his views with Financial Express Online, Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia (retd), Former DGMO & Director Centre For Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) says, “His visit to Leh is also a signal to China not to repeat the Galwan treachery during the agreed-upon disengagement process. The visit also supports and appreciates the Army’s resolute response. The PM visiting frontline troops boosts the morale of the armed forces and reinforces the political belief in the army’s top leadership.”
“The visit to the soldiers injured at Galwan is recognition of their gallant fight despite a savage assault by PLA on 15 June. The visit also is a message to the International community of India’s firm and just stance to ensure territorial integrity and Sovereignty. PM Modi is known to lead in crisis situations and spending time with troops deployed in borders areas and operations. It reinforces his leadership role and style, being seen in full control,” the former DGMO adds.
Says Ranjit Kumar, a senior journalist and a China watcher, “Prime Minister’s unannounced visit to forward locations in Ladakh is a huge message not only to China but the international community that India is determined to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty, no matter what will be the costs and consequences. Chinese soldiers have already learnt a bitter lesson on the night of June 15th in the Galwan valley. Prime Minister Modi has signalled that sacrifices of 20 Indian soldiers will not go waste. His visit to forward location in Nimu has further raised the morale of the Indian army, who are ready to tackle any threat from across the border.”
“China has deliberately upped the ante in the border areas of Ladakh, which the Indian army and top political leadership is determined to counter. Hope, China will realise the futility of escalating the border tension and implement the understanding reached during the Army commanders meeting on 6th June and 17th June talks between foreign ministers. By not implementing the consensus reached in the army commanders and foreign ministers discussions, China is showing its true colours and has of late acquired the image of not respecting bilateral agreements and international laws and commitments,” Ranjit Kumar opines.
“In the South China Sea region, China has been disrespecting the United Nations Law of the Sea and claiming the maritime areas as belonging to China and illegally declaring the disputed islands as China’s. Similarly, China has been unilaterally extending the line of actual control and raising tensions with India. It is really unfortunate that in the 70th year of establishment of diplomatic relations China has created a warlike situation on the 3488 kms long line of Actual control,” Kumar concludes.
In Brig N K Bhatia’s (retd) opinion, “Prime Minister Modi’s visit to any field, formation is a matter of great pride. It for sure boosts the morale of troops in such trying times when they face the challenges of a treacherous neighbour along with an equally hostile, harsh and adverse operating environment.
The most important message that would go across to the Chinese would be that days of “Fait Accompli”, similar to earlier occasions are over and India will stand up to any land grab through force and restore status quo. In such an eventuality things would get tough for the Chinese as well. Chinese may have occupied uncontested areas by deceit but engaging in combat to further gain any territory may be near impossible and would entail heavy costs and loss of lives.”
“Both sides are engaged in talks and that’s the only positive aspect of the current standoff. It should dawn on the opposing side that India is not only capable of defending its territory but also capable of opening up new frontiers should the situation so require.
As things stand today China’s actions have invited international condemnation. But that overtly seems to have had little impact on its conduct. However, India standing up to China and giving it back in equal measure in the unarmed combat duel on 15 June would have surely sent a suitable response to the Chinese,” Brig Bhatia observes.
PM visits Leh
Applauding the troops posted in the Galwan Valley for showing “fire and fury” to the enemies, PM Modi in a veiled reference to China’s attempt to take over territory in Ladakh, he said the “age of expansionism is over”.
He was accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and Army chief Gen MM. Naravane, and was given a detailed briefing by the 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh. Besides interacting with the personnel from the ITBP, Air Force and the Army in Nimu, he also visited the military hospital and met those who were injured in the violent face-off on June 15.