Indians need to be more firm in saying ‘No’ to Chinese products
There is an indisputable groundswell of anger among Indians against China. Simmering rage over the PLA’s attempt to grab land – through by now familiar stealth and deceit – along the Line of Actual Control in east Ladakh, turned incandescent after the deadly clash on the night of June 15-16 that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and a large number of Chinese ‘wolf warriors’. It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that the intensity of the popular rage sweeping through India will influence domestic politics and Government’s decision-making in the short to medium-term.
The implications of those decisions will last longer, unless Government does a somersault and reverses policy choices like imposing a ban on Chinese apps, cancelling infrastructure tenders in which Chinese firms are bidders, shutting India’s doors on China’s 5G tech firm Huawei, and prohibiting Chinese direct investment through the automatic route. For the moment, the Modi Government, slighted by what it perceives as Beijing’s treachery along the LAC and in instigating the neighbourhood, especially Nepal, against India at a time when all attention is focussed on fighting the Chinese-origin Covid19 pandemic and its devastating aftermath, seems determined to stay the course and be firm in dealing with a country which is unlikely to ever turn into a friend from an implacable foe.