Amidst a small section of people in India running “Boycott Chinese Goods” campaign, China has warned such a move would hurt ties and investments in both countries.
The demand to boycott Chinese goods this festival season started after China apparently sided with Pakistan and blocked India’s move to get Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar declared as a UN-designated terrorist. The campaign to boycott Chinese goods initially started on social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
The Indian government has not formally called for the boycott of Chinese products.
Reports of the effect of the ‘Boycott Chinese Goods’ campaign have come from small pockets. Several reports have suggested that the campaign may affect the sale of Chinese lights, firecrackers and some other small products during the festivals.
On Thursday, HT reported Chinese embassy spokesperson in New Delhi, Xie Liyan, as warning that the campaign would hurt investments and ties between both countries.
Xie said that China is “more concerned” over the boycott as it would “negatively affect” Chinese companies, who wish to invest in India, and the bilateral cooperation between the countries.
Asserting that the boycott would hurt India more than China, Xie said that both Chinese and Indian people are “not willing to see” the negative effect of the boycott.
Xie’s concerns hold significance as India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been seeking investments from all across the world, including China. India seeks Chinese investment in the country’s infrastructure sector. It is believed that trade imbalance between both countries could come down with such investments.
At present, the trade deficit between the two countries is about $50 billion. In 2015, the total bilateral trade between India and China was worth $71.6 billion.
Xie told HT that the boycott effect would not be limited to Diwali-related products only but may extend to other Chinese products also.
The Chinese warned such boycott would not only affect the sale of Chinese goods but the ” biggest losers of the boycott of Chinese goods will be Indian traders and consumers.”
However, it has been earlier reported that the boycott call did not deter Indians from buying Chinese smartphones. Some of the Chinese smartphone manufacturers have done bumper sales during the festival sale offers on platforms like Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
Earlier, a Chinese state media report had also said the boycott call would fail to change trade relations between the two countries.