New Delhi/Beijing: Chinese mouthpiece, the Global Times had claimed that the Indian campaign to boycott Chinese products would fail. But China seems to have panicked, following the symbolic torching of Chinese products by Indians, following the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley. The Global Times has appealed that don’t let the border dispute affect Indo-Chinese trade. China seems to have realised that it will have to pay a dear economic price, for the misadventure on the Ladakh border and hence this soft stand adopted by the Global Times.
Before this, the Chinese government’s media have repeatedly scoffed at the Indian campaigns to boycott Chinese products. The Chinese media had incited Indians saying boycotting Chinese products will not be successful in India as these products have become a part of Indian society. Global Times also had reminded Indians, of the failed ‘Boycott China’ campaigns in the past. Global Times has repeatedly claimed that the Indian manufacturing sector is undeveloped and India cannot compete with China on this front.
But it is evident from the latest article in the Global Times that China has started feeling the heat of the Indian response to the Boycott appeals, following the martyrdom of 20 Indian soldiers in the Chinese act of betrayal in Ladakh. That is why the Global Times is speaking a reconciliatory language that don’t let the border dispute affect Indo-China trade. At the same time, the Chinese mouthpiece has advised that India should build a friendship with its neighbours instead of enmity. But while making this appeal, the Chinese mouthpiece also has tried to emphasise that economic growth of India, is dependent on mighty countries like China. The Chinese mouthpiece has also reminded that China is the Chinese have funded the biggest foreign investor in India and 18 out of 30 Indian start-ups.
The Chinese mouthpiece pointed out that items like domestic appliances, TVs, microwaves, air conditioners, mobile phones, laptops are imported into India from China and these items are available to India at economical rates. Still, if India starts importing these items from elsewhere, they will cost much more. In short, the Chinese mouthpiece is trying to say that it will be hard for India to get quality products at economical prices. The Chinese mouthpiece has said that therefore, Indian people should not get fooled by running behind appeals made by a handful of people to boycott Chinese products.
Meanwhile, ‘Confederation of All Indian Traders’ (CAIT), an association representing 70 million traders, carried out symbolic torching of Chinese products, in New Delhi. CAIT said that it would be persuading and creating awareness among the traders not to buy Chinese products. CAIT has already published a list of 500 Chinese products, that could be immediately banned. Not only traders and consumer, but the Indian government also has started a spate of cancellation of contracts awarded to Chinese companies and recently the Maharashtra government cancelled an agreement worth ₹4 trillion, signed with a Chinese company. The Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments also have taken similar decisions and Indian Railway too, is contemplating to cancel contracts awarded to Chinese companies. BSNL has stopped the use of Chinese equipment.
The Union government is drawing up a comprehensive policy so that the materials necessary in the country can be manufactured in the country. Soon, a White Paper will be published regarding the policy. According to the policy, industry will be encouraged and the companies taking the initiative for indigenous production will be offered concessions. Nearly 14% of Indian imports are from China. The government is taking aggressive steps to reduce these imports from China and the government seems to have decided on its priorities by cancelling contracts awarded to the Chinese companies. Therefore, China, who is feeling the heat, has appealed through the mouthpiece.
China has been benefitting to the tune of $80 billion, per fiscal, in the bilateral trade with India. Despite this, China never has shown any consideration for Indian interests. But the general sentiment in India is that it is about time to settle the account with China.