Singh said the power being asserted by China in the Himalayas and the Indo-Pacific could lead to an uncertain future of the region and the world

NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that the world and south Asia were facing an uncertain future due to China's acts of unprovoked aggression.

Rajnath Singh said, “The unprovoked aggression on our Himalayan frontiers is a reminder of how the world is changing, how existing agreements are being challenged, how power is being asserted not just in the Himalayas but across the Indo-Pacific, and how uncertain the future of the region and world could be in this backdrop.”

Defence Minister was speaking at the 93rd Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on the theme ‘Inspired India’ on Monday.

China moved in its forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh in the month of May. There are more than 40,000 troops along with the tanks, artillery and missiles from both the sides locked in a tense standoff.

Talking of the military deployments and the fortitude of Indian soldiers, Singh said, “They fought the PLA with utmost bravery and forced them to go back. The coming generations of this nation will be proud of what our forces have managed to achieve this year.”

While often comparison of military might is made between India and China, Rajnath Singh said there can be a serious debate on who owns more military might but when it comes to soft power there is no scope of ambiguity.

“I would like to quote the famous Chinese thinker Hu Shi, who rightly said ‘India has culturally dominated and controlled China for more than 2,000 years without sending a single soldier across the border’. This statement by Hu Shi underlines the fact that India as a civilizational state has been inspiring and influencing the world through its culture and soft power for centuries.” said the defence minister.

“India is far ahead of China when it comes to leading the world with ideas. If you look at entire East Asia from Burma to Thailand to Indonesia and Malaysia even Japan, there is a huge Indian cultural impact on all these countries.” Rajnath Singh said.

Buddhism had a monumental influence over China to an extent that before the 1949 revolution almost 80% of China’s population followed Buddhism, said the Defence Minister.

The minister reminded of the world taking time in realizing that Pakistan was the fountainhead of terrorism and India had to face it alone. “India, due to its location, size, population and economy, has always been at the strategic forefront of global security. We have been victims of cross-border terrorism, yet have fought the scourge alone even when there was no one to support us but later, they understood we were right about Pakistan being the fountainhead of terrorism.”

Rajnath Singh reminded the industrialists that once again brave forces are there in the forefront fighting icy winds to guard Indian borders and to fulfil their responsibility. 

Singh urged them to study policy shifts in defence more carefully and organize their businesses accordingly. “Can we use our economic strength to our advantage, forge the right partnerships, bring the right technology for our armed forces? Can we be at the forefront of military production – lethal or non-lethal – like our soldiers on the border?” he said.