Of-late China has stepped up its ante against India on every known world platform. While it opposes India in terms of Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) membership and claiming sovereignty over disputed lands near Line of Actual Control, it has managed to maintain cordial relationship in the world of business and investments. In comparison to $1.3 billion investment between 2000 and May 2016, in a matter of just 3 months (by August 2016) it had already invested $2.3 billion via four Indian companies. This simply shows China’s vested interests in India.
At this juncture, when India is in a complex bilateral relationship with China, a question arises – What is the real cost of such investments?
Let’s have a look at what China has done in last 2 years –
China’s aggression towards South China Sea
It is no known fact that China is very fierce in showing aggression towards claiming sovereignty over disputed areas. The world has been witnessing it since the time China claimed rights of the entire South China Sea. Not only did China claim sovereignty, it wasted no time in utilizing South China Sea to build artificial islands. This act of defiance was carried out despite strong objections from countries like Philippines, Vietnam, The Hague and the United Nations. The situation over the South China Sea, at one point, was so alarming that China was ready for an offence against USA when it sent a US Navy warship over the troubled waters.
China’s proximity with Pakistan
There is a famous saying “An enemy’s enemy is your friend.” China has used the exact logic by befriending Pakistan and virtually making the country it’s economic colony. Not only has China increased its investment towards the CPEC, an economic corridor, to $62 billion from $46 billion but has also invested heavily in building industrial parks, Gwadar Port and installing 10,000 MW of electricity on the national grid by 2018.
CPEC is an economic corridor that goes directly through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), an area which claimed by both Pakistan and India. Time and again India has objected against the corridor since it goes through a disputed territory, but all in vain. This corridor provides a strategic advantage to both Pakistan and China in terms of territory.
With such vested interests from China, Pakistan has made itself untouchable. In a worst case scenario if a war takes place, China is likely to interfere since the war will directly harm their vested interests.
China’s violation of pacts
It is not news that China is infamous for violation of Line of Control and Line of Actual Control. We have seen them intruding in disputed territories like Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh in recent years between 2012 and 2016. Thanks to our Indian Army who is always prepared for a stand-off and have always been successful in pushing them back through dialogues.
The most recent incident of violation of pacts took place when China brazed India’s old army bunker with a bulldozer while claiming sovereignty over the disputed land which was bonded by a pact between China, India and Bhutan. The disputed land is of strategic importance since it gives direct control over the ‘Chicken’s Neck’ that joins India with the North East states. The stand-off intensified to such as extent that both India and China had to call 3,000 troops.
How to beat China in it’s own game
With closing proximity with Pakistan and increasing incidents of claiming sovereignty over disputed lands it has become the need of the hour to tame China.
From mobiles phones to plastic toys to food – the Chinese is in every nook and corner of the country. It needs to be flushed out. If not flushed, it needs to boycotted in the strictest way possible. If we go by financial figures. India has allowed China to enjoy a trade surplus of $60 billion, this needs to be drastically reduced. In a way, India is allowing China to refinance it’s own strategy against India. A slash in the trade surplus will hurt China where it matters the most.
In 2017, till date, India’s export to China jumped by 20% to $26.02 billion. The only reason why China is buying from India is because of its affordability. If the exports to China comes under purview, it can indirectly damage China’a finances drastically as it will need to find suppliers from the West. And the suppliers wont come cheap. This will cost the country more, thus, impairing its finances.
The biggest investments from China have come in the form of setting up manufacturing units for mobiles. Chinese mobiles witnessed a great showdown in 2015-16 as they launched brands like Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo. While these companies have played a major role in pushing ‘Make in India’ program to new heights, it has also slashed the market share of Indian companies to a great extent. The market share has reduced from 40% to just 14%. These companies need to be taxed heavily so that the pain is felt in Beijing.
The biggest weapon which India possesses against China is trade. If India uses this weapon strategically India can win against China on all fronts. For this, India has to be one. India cannot do it as a country but the people of India has to do as a country. They have to boycott Chinese goods to the core. Then and only then can India win against China.