Is #BoycottChina a realistic movement ?

The #BoycottChina which is trending on every platform across India is a movement which took birth many years ago has gained popularity once again after the recent clash between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh. As a result of which Indian Government has banned Chinese apps in India and has put many projects with China at hold.

We never attack first its against our policies and morals, but this time we are trying to make our enemies weaker economically by boycotting its products, but we forgot in the process that we are the one who are more dependent on China, than China is dependent on us.

Today from toys which our kids play with to mobiles which we use are made in China which itself shows our dependency on it and we are not the only country which is dependent on China, there are many more. China is called as “world’s factory” because of the efficient services which it provides. There are various factors which are responsible for China’s efficiency like provision of cheap labour, easy accessibility to business loans, no compliance with health and safety norms resulting into violation of environment protection laws. Negligible environment protection laws enable Chinese firms in cutting down waste management costs. All these factors together help China in producing low – cost goods.

We are of the opinion that China is pretty much dependent on our country and its economy will tumble if we boycott its products but the reality is far more different from our imagination because China exports to India account for only 2% of its total exports and even if we Indians join hands and boycott all products imported from China it won’t make any big difference on China’s economy which we are anticipating from our #BoycottChineseProducts and China will easily substitute us with some other country which it is already planning.

The boycott movements which have taken place in countries across the globe in the past are precedent to the fact that these movements are successful only for few weeks and after some time all the nationalistic spirit fades away because the country boycotting is very much dependent on the other country and unplanned movements without the availability of alternatives prevents the country from achieving what it really desires.

Even if this movement becomes successful in our country we will be the one on the side of losses because 12% of India’s imports are coming from China across sectors such as chemicals, automotive components, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals and sudden boycott will result into massive unemployment which is already prevalent in India.

India imports almost seven times more from China than it exports to it. In 2018-2019, India’s exports to China were $16.7 Billion, while imports were $70.3 Billion, leaving a trade deficit of $53.6 Billion. Not only this, 16 out of 30 unicorns are now Chinese funded. As per the Gateway House Report 2020, Chinese tech investors have put estimated $4 Billion into India’s start-ups.

At the present moment we don’t have many alternatives of the Chinese products we are using. In telecom sector, three Chinese firms, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo have a 50% share of the mobile handset market. Chinese state-owned companies have bagged huge projects here. These include Sinosteel, Shougang International, Baoshan Iron & Steel, Sany Heavy Industry, Chongqing Lifan Industry, China Dongfang International, and Sino Hydro Corporation.

All this shows China’s strong control in Indian market which cannot be altered in a moment. If we really want to make this #BoycottChina movement successful, firstly we need to have a realistic approach towards this movement rather than having a virtual one. If we are expecting that this movement will change the game instantly then we are highly mistaken. Secondly, our country needs to develop alternatives of Chinese products to become more self dependent and fulfil India’s vision of self reliance and without the availability of the alternatives this movement will result into nothing but just hashtags on social media.

India’s self reliance vision is a ambitious goal which cannot be achieved overnight and by just banning chinese apps. We can only achieve it with strong dedication and consistency.

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