New Delhi: – The Chinese newspaper, The Global Times, scoffed at the Indian appeals to boycott Chinese products by stating that it is not easy for the Indians to boycott Chinese products and all the campaigns to boycott Chinese products will fail. Chinese products have become a part of the Indian lifestyle. But the drive to boycott Chinese products has intensified in India, and it is receiving an overwhelming response. The Global Times article expresses the concerns felt by China, which is panicking because of this.
There is tremendous anger in India against China because of the Coronavirus pandemic and the infiltration on the Ladakh border, and multiple organisations are appealing for a boycott of Chinese products. On Sunday, ‘Confederation of All India Traders’ (CAIT), the apex body of all trading organisations in India, announced that a countrywide campaign for a boycott of Chinese goods would be undertaken from 10th of June. CAIT said that along with persuasion of the traders against purchasing Chinese products, the campaign would also focus on encouraging citizens to buy Indian products.
CAIT represents 70 million traders and 40,000 organisations of small traders from the country. The CAIT General Secretary, Pravin Khandelwal, said that CAIT had undertaken such campaigns to strengthen the ‘Make in India’ initiative from time to time. This has resulted in the reduction of imports of Chinese products. In 2017-18, imports from China were USD 76 billion. These imports have reduced to USD 70 billion in 2018-19, showing a reduction of USD 6 billion. This shows the changed mindset of the consumer.
Before this, Sonam Wangchuk, an environmentalist from Ladakh, had made the ‘Boycott Made in China’ appeal. The ‘Remove China Apps’ also has been downloaded on a large scale. Following an objection raised by China, this app was removed from Google Play Store.
Against this background, Global Times, the Chinese mouthpiece has given the reaction on the campaign to boycott Chinese products. Zhao Gancheng, Senior Fellow from Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, wrote in his article published in the Global Times ‘Some people in India are running a deceptive campaign against China. Both the countries are participating in the discussions over the border dispute. But the Indian media and some other people are condemning China and spreading misinformation.
These are the people who are making adverse publicity of the Chinese products. They will not succeed. Chinese products have become a part of the day to day life of the Indian population. Ordinary people in India prefer cheap Chinese products. Therefore, the Global Times claimed that the boycott of Chinese products would increase the financial burden on the Indian people. Lou Chunhao of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) reminded that attempts to boycott Chinese products have been made even in the past and said that this new attempt also would fail like the previous ones.
The Global Times article quotes ‘India is trying to give an impetus to its manufacturing sector. But as of today, the manufacturing sector contributes only 16% to the GDP. Therefore, at least, as of now, the demand for Chinese products cannot reduce. Chinese companies have a market share of 72% in the Indian smartphone market. Chinese smart TVs enjoy a market share of 45%. The companies competing with Chinese smart TVs cost nearly 20 to 45% more.’
The Indian government and the population have realised that they cannot depend on Chinese products in the future. Therefore, the government has started a massive campaign to provide an impetus to the Indian manufacturing sector. The analysts are expressing confidence that the multinational companies planning to exit China are keen on investing in India, and therefore, India has the potential of becoming the global manufacturing hub. Thus, the analysts claim that although the Indian manufacturing sector is far backward as compared to the Chinese manufacturing sector, the time is not far away that the Indian manufacturing sector will compete with the Chinese manufacturing sector. China also has realised this, and hence, this is the concern evident from the consistent criticism.