In his speech to the Indian-American community in San Francisco, Singh also sent a subtle message to the United States that New Delhi does not believe in a “zero-sum game” diplomacy, and its relationship with one country must not be at the expense of the other.
The Secretary of Defense was here to attend India’s US 2 + 2 ministerial meeting in Washington DC. He then traveled to Hawaii for meetings at IndoPACOM’s headquarters and then to San Francisco.
At a reception held in his honor by the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, the Secretary of Defense told the select assembly about the bravery shown by Indian soldiers on the border with China.
“I can not openly say what the (Indian soldiers) did and what decisions we (the government) made. But I can certainly say that there has been a message (to China) that India will not spare anyone if India will be harmed. (Bharat) ko agar koi chherega to Bharat chhorega nahi, “he said.
The Ladakh border between the Indian and Chinese military broke out on May 5, 2020 after a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. The face escalated after the clashes in the Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020. As many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops were killed in the clashes.
India and China have so far held 15 rounds of military negotiations to resolve the eastern Ladakh standoff. As a result of the negotiations, the two sides completed the withdrawal process last year on the northern and southern shores of Pangong Lake and in the Gogra area.
Without referring directly to US pressure on Russia over the Ukraine war, Singh said India did not believe in a “zero-sum game” diplomacy.
If India has a good relationship with one country, it does not mean that its relationship with any other country will deteriorate, he said. “India has never adopted this kind of diplomacy. India will never choose this (kind of diplomacy). We do not believe in the zero-sum game in international relations,” he said.
India, he said, believes in having a bilateral relationship based on “win-win” for both countries.
His remarks came amid some unrest in Washington over India’s stance on the Ukraine crisis as well as its decision to supply Russian oil at a reduced price.
“The image of India has changed. India’s prestige has improved. In the next few years, no power in the world can prevent India from becoming the world’s three best economies,” Singh said.
In his speech to Indian society, Singh said that if a country in the world previously wanted to develop and prosper, then they always thought of establishing a vibrant trade with India.
“We should aim to establish a similar ecosystem in India as we celebrate our 100th Independence Day in 2047,” he said.
The Secretary of Defense said that during his last trip to the United States in 2013 at a reception in New Jersey, he had told a group of Indian Americans that “India’s success story is not over, it is waiting for the BJP to come to power. At that time, people were disappointed over the then performance Congress government.”
In eight years, he said Modi the government has “turned” the country and the image of India has changed for the better.
“(Global) people have now realized that India is no longer a weak country. It is a powerful country in the world. Today, India has the potential to lead the world. This potential in India is something that the world has now realized,” he said.
Nothing else could be a “great achievement” for a country like India in such a short period of time, he said.
“There have been several prime ministers in India who became the country’s leader after occupying this post. But like Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru, India’s first prime minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi were the country’s leaders even before they became prime minister,” he said. .
“Today we have a new and confident Bharat,” he said, adding that India is now moving towards becoming an independent country and the Modi government is taking several important steps in this regard, including in the defense sector, he said.
India has taken several important steps towards the naturalization of its defense sector, he said, while briefly describing some of such decisions that the government is making.
After observing that India has great confidence in the country’s IT sector, the Minister of Defense said that Indian talents play a major role in the world IT sector and the Modi government has taken steps towards massive digitization.
India today, he said, is marching forward to become an economic power, and the government is not only working for the welfare and prosperity of its people, but also helping people in other parts of the world.
“India is now among the world’s fastest growing economies. Our economy suffered a setback due to the pandemic. But now we have a rapid recovery,” he said.