Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Independence Day 2020 speech on Saturday, warned China from the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort, saying India's jawans had given a befitting reply to those who tried to raise eyes towards the country's sovereignty.
"From LoC to LAC, whoever tried to raise their eyes towards the sovereignty of our country, our soldiers responded to it in the same manner," PM Modi said.
Respect for India's sovereignty is supreme, the PM said, adding the world has seen what India can do if anyone tries to hurt its sovereignty along the border. "What our brave soldiers can do for this resolution, what the country can do, the world has seen this in Ladakh," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was referring to the recent border clashes between India and China at the Galwan valley along the Line of Actual Control. During the border skirmish, around 20 Indian jawans were martyred, while estimates suggest the Chinese suffered more than 40 casualties though it has maintained silence on the number of deaths on its side.
The PM said India is working towards making better relations with neighbouring countries, whether they are connected via land or from the sea, by partnering in areas of security and development.
Today, neighbours are not just the one with whom we share the border but also those with whom our heart stays connected, where there is harmony in relations, the PM said. "I'm happy that in past some time India has further strengthened its relations with all countries in 'extended neighbourhood'," he added.
The PM said one-fourth of the world's population lives in South Asia. "We can create untold possibilities of development and prosperity of such a large population with cooperation and participation," he said.
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He said all the leaders of the countries of the region have an important responsibility towards the development and progress of this huge mass group.
He said a large number of Indians work in many of these countries. These countries helped Indians living there during the coronavirus crisis by honouring the request of the government, he added.
"Our ASEAN countries, which are also our maritime neighbours, also hold very special importance for us. India has a thousand years old religious and cultural relationship with them. Traditions of Buddhism also connect us to them," he said.
The PM also talked about the border and coastal infrastructure, saying it has a big role in the security of the country. "Be it the Himalayan peaks or the islands of the Indian Ocean, there is an unprecedented expansion of road and internet connectivity," he said.