China’s support to Pakistan; India reacts boycotting Chinese goods


Diwali, one of the most important Hindu festivals and one of the biggest shopping seasons in India, is coming at the end of October, but encouragement to boycott Chinese goods has been spreading in the last few days on Indian social media, and even a few Indian politicians are exaggerating facts.

According to a report published in Daily Global Times, Chinese products are often the victim when regional situations get tense, and this phenomenon has been existing for quite a few years.

There have been at least two prominent Indian boycotts of Chinese goods in the past few months.

The first happened in April. It was caused by dissatisfaction over China’s stand on the issue of Maulana Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, who is accused of committing terrorist acts in India. The second was in July and because of China’s lack of support for India’s bid to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Now Chinese goods are on the stage again due to the Kashmir issue.

However, regardless of the passionate boycott in India and Indian media’s hysteric reports of a “doomsday” for Chinese products, Chinese goods have never been condemned by Indian government and are popular across the nation.

The bilateral trade relationship is one of the pillars of the Sino-Indian relationship. The trade volume was over $70 billion in 2015, and China’s investment in India soared to around $ 870 million in 2015, six times what it was in 2014.

The boycott has not achieved success. Sales figures for Chinese products on the top three Indian online retailers in the first week of October hit a new record. Amazingly, the Chinese mobile phone company Xiaomi sold half a million phones in just three days on the Flipkart, Amazon India, Snapdeal and Tata CLiQ platforms.

Some observers believe that China and India are competing with each other regionally and globally. While this might not be wrong, the negative effect of this competition shouldn’t be exaggerated too much if we see it in an objective way.

To some extent, the economic relationship is the barometer of the political relationship. There shouldn’t be huge fluctuation in terms of economic cooperation if the political relationship keeps steady between the two.