Mumbai, June 25: Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday that China tried to intrude into Indian territory but India "responded" to it. The BJP leader was addressing a virtual rally of party workers in Western Maharashtra from Nagpur through video link. "We know that our borders are not safe.

China, in a way tried to intrude on our border but we responded to it," he said, referring to the stand-off in Galwan valley in Ladakh. "If anyone is coming to our borders and trying to encroach on our land, we will give them a befitting reply. We will empower and strengthen this country further so that no one can take steps against us," he said. India-China Faceoff in Ladakh: Chinese General Authorised His Forces to Attack Indian Troops in Galwan River Valley, Says US Intelligence.

"We (the NDA government) brought in several reforms in defence sector. We do not want to attack anyone but we should be equipped and ready to defend ourselves," Gadkari said.

"Since the days of late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Indian government has always tried to maintain cordial relations with neighbouring countries," he said. "India is not expansionist," the Union minister added.

"India never tried to take a single (square) foot of land (even) from a small country like Bhutan. It was the Indian government that fought for and liberated Bangladesh but we did not grab their land," he said.

"We liberated the country, ensured that a government was formed there and we came back. Our policy towards neighbouring states is just, cordial and cooperative," Gadkari said.