The Clamour to Boycott China-Made Products

The Clamour to Boycott China-Made Products

The Clamour to boycott China-made products is growing in the country following the killing of Twenty Indian Army Personnel, including a colonel, in a fierce clash with Chines troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday, June 15, night. This was the biggest military confrontation between India and China in over five decades.

Since Monday, anti-China protests have broken out all over India, with effigies of the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, set alight. In Gujarat, there was footage of people throwing their Chinese-made televisions over their balconies.

Chines action has led to a situation wherein there is nationwide anger against China and the entire nation is yearning for revenge. There is uncontrollable outrage over the incident and the call for boycotting Chinese goods reflects the emerging mood about China, which is going beyond suspicion to a degree of loathing.

There is a war cry that we, all citizens of this great nation must reduce our dependence on Chines goods. We know a lot of determination and patriotism are required to boycott Chinese goods but we will be successful.

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale has said that all restaurants and hotels that sell Chinese food in India should be closed down and products made in China should be boycotted. “China is a country that betrays. In India, all Chinese products must be boycotted. Chinese food and restaurants that sell Chinese food should be closed down in India,” the minister said in a tweet in Hindi.

Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday appealed to people to boycott products from China and also directed officials of his ministry not to procure any Chinese products for day-to-day office use.

“I want to appeal to everyone that the way China is behaving, we boycott all Chinese products,” Paswan said and emphasized that the Centre would strictly implement the BIS quality rules on products imported from China. Speaking to reporters, he expressed concerns over illegal imports of sub-standard Chinese products like diyas and furniture. Indian government officials said they plan to impose higher trade barriers and raise import duties on around 300 products from China. India currently has a $59.3bn (£47.7nb) trade deficit with China, with 11% of India’s imports coming from China.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari said India should no longer depend on China and instead focus on research and innovation to ramp up domestic manufacturing.

Sonam Wangchuk, a pioneering Indian engineer who lives and works in Ladakh, has been at the forefront of calls for a boycott on China, in response to what he described as China’s “bullying” behaviour over recent years, where land used by local herdsman to graze goats in Ladakh has slowly been encroached on by Chinese forces.

“If we just meet them with military force, that’s what China is looking for,” said Wangchuk. “We should do what they fear more, which is economic damage. India sends so much money … but we need to get ourselves out of this trap and call out China for what they are: a wolf, a rogue nation.”

Wangchuk said the campaign had already been more successful than he had ever anticipated. “Citizens can make a huge difference,” he said. “The same wallets that built China in the last 30 years can also bring them down.” In Delhi, the Residents Welfare Association of Defence Colony, an affluent neighborhood of South Delhi, declared “war” on China through a boycott of goods.

Retired army Major Ranjit Singh, who is president of the RWA, said in a video message to residents: “I declare Defence Colony is at war. Unfortunately, we cannot take up guns and bullets but definitely there are other means. We can break China’s backbone economically.” Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal also requested celebrities including Bollywood actors, to stop endorsing products of Chines brands as a mark of respect for the slain Indian soldiers.

CAIT, which represents over 60 million Indian traders, stated it would be stepping up its anti- China boycott to include 450 broad categories of commodities, which cover over 3,000 Chinese products ranging from cosmetics to handbags and furniture.

The traders’ body Tuesday released a list of over 450 broad categories of commodities, which have over 3,000 Chinese products.

The list released by CAIT broadly includes every day-use items, including FMCG products, consumer durables, toys, furnishing fabrics, textiles, builder hardware, footwear, apparel, kitchen items, handbags, cosmetics, electrical and electronics, fashion apparel, Diwali and Holi items, among others.

Khandelwal said the national governing council of the CAIT has 200 top traders across the country as its members, and apart from that, there are state chapters too.

“We have 40,000 trade associations and a network of 7 crore traders and we will circulate this message and the list to all of them for action. We are also preparing a proposal for the government to look for manufacturing those items for which we have to rely on China,” Khandelwal told.

CAIT realizes that replacing Chinese made products with domestically made one will be a challenge. Therefore, it wants to use psychological pressure and patriotism to get consumers to shun goods made in China.

It has advised the seven crore traders and 40,000 merchant organizations across India that the Chinese products should be identified and displayed separately in the stores. Some might comply, at least in the short term. However, in the long-term, when earnings take a hit, traders are bound to go back to the established practice of selling a mix of domestic and imported items that are popular with consumers.

Affordable Chinese imports, most of which are priced below Rs 200, are also sold on street corners, pavements, and weekly bazaars by lakh of hawkers, and this lot who have already seen their earnings disappear due to the lockdown is unlikely to heed the CAIT call.

Various ministries of the central government have also toughened their stance towards Chinese firms in light of the present skirmish.

i. The government has decided to ask State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) not to use Chinese Telecom Gear in its 4G upgradation, which is being supported as part of the company revival package.

ii. The Railways has decided to terminate the contract worth Rs. 471 crore awarded to Beijing National Railway Research and Design Institute of Signal and Communication group in 2016 due to “poor progress” on the signalling and telecommunication work on the Kanpur- Mugalsarai section.

They were supposed to complete the work by 2019, but only 20 percent of the work has been completed so far, the Railways said.

Though the move comes amid calls to boycott China in the aftermath of the Ladakh faceoff, officials maintain that it was the firm’s poor performance and ability to deliver the project on time that led to the decision.

iii. The pressure was also building to cancel the lucrative contract recently given to a Chinese construction company to build an underground stretch of a new rapid rail project in Delhi.

iv. Haryana Government has decided to effect a trade ban on Chines companies by annulling two tenders for installation of flue gas desulphurization (FGD) system, a pollution controlling measure, at its thermal power plants at Hisar and Yamunanagar. The project carried a financial implication of about Rs.780 crore.

TMC leader Mamata Banerjee said at the all-party meeting g to not let China enter telecom, railway and aviation sectors in India. "We will face some problems but we won’t allow the Chinese to enter," ANI quoted Banerjee as saying

JDU chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar said there was nationwide anger against China. There should be no differences among us. We are together. Parties should not show any disunity that can be explored by other nations. It is our duty to be one and support the Centre. (ANI)

“China’s action has led to a situation wherein the entire nation is yearning for revenge. There is the outrage over the incident,” Kumar added.

The JDU Chief alleged that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by a virus that originated in a “biological lab in China’s Wuhan”, and seems to be an unnatural organism on account of its being immune to changes in temperature, climate, and topography.

The chief minister also sought a review of past trade agreements with China so that import of items manufactured in the neighbouring country was restricted.

“Toys manufactured in China have a high amount of plastic and therefore pose ecological hazards. Besides, its cheap electronic goods are contributing enormously to electronic waste,” he said. “If China is insulting us, we must not take it lying down. If it has plans of capturing a territory falling in India, it must be told resoundingly that this will not be allowed. We all are with the Centre on this issue.

China’s stand on India is known. India wanted to give respect to China. But what did China do in 1962. On Chinese products, Kumar said Goods from China flooding Indian markets have major problems. They're plastic heavy, aren't eco-friendly and they harm the environment. Electronic waste associated with them is high. Chinese products don’t even last long.

Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav said, ‘Nation is one. ‘Neeyat’ of Pakistan and China is not good. India will not be China’s dumping ground. Impose 300 percent duty on Chinese goods.’