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‘Boycott Chinese’ movement: Impulsive or justified?

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The recent stand off between two Asian giants at the Indo China lac has left entire Asia watch with concern and at the same time wonder as to what will follow next. The incident began with a not so unusual Chinese practice of pac troops willfully entering into the Indian side of the border, invoking sharp opposition and pushback from its Indian counterparts. What ensued was a meeting between army chief of both the countries followed by a resolution that Chinese would restore the status quo prior to this incident.

However, not to anyone’s surprise Chinese reneged on their promise yet again, much to the disappointment of the Indian side. Indian troops, unaware of the premeditated plan of Chinese to attack them when they were most vulnerable, approached closer to the disputed area to see if Chinese had indeed returned to their earlier position as promised and were brutally attacked with bats embedded with iron nails. The heinous, cowardly and unpardonable ambush killed 3 soldiers on the spot while 17 others succumbed to death later due to harsh mountainous weather and lack of timely treatment.

The incident justifiably caused outrage of unprecedented scale among indian citizens resulting in an immediate response of push for a complete boycott of anything chinese. While that would be a natural response of any Indian who is aware of china’s tactics of bullying its neighbours into toeing their line and killing thousands of indian soldiers since 1962, there are a few fringe venomous groups who are ridiculing and mocking this idea of boycotting chinese products.

The apparent rationale they are putting forward is that boycotting Chinese goods is highly impractical as Chinese are dominating world trade with their cost effective and competitively priced products causing them to be in high demand across the globe and India cannot afford to exclude itself from that ecosystem.

However, the point that they absolutely miss is that China has not been an inherently strong economy. Just like India they also went through stringent economic reforms, aligning them with the global economy which kickstarted their economic dominance worldwide that still continues. Unlike India however, Chinese had started those reforms two decades prior to India which gave them a clear headstart. Also, to their credit, China marched ahead with their aggressive push to making their products highly competitive by offering steep tax benefits and other attractive freebies to the companies setting up their plants in China. In contrast, India hardly cared to bring foreign investments into its soil as it was never on top of their priority list.

Analysts and experts do believe however that all India needs to replicate the China model,
today, is a strong political leadership that can think beyond electoral benefits and start pushing initiatives like “Make in India” aggressively and persistently till it gains sufficient momentum on its own. The timing for this push has never been more favourable as big global corporations are looking for excuses to exit china and settle in other favourite destinations in light of the Covid 19 pandemic that is perceived to have been exported by China. India , fortunately and surely, happens to be one of those favourite destinations.

With India’ bilateral ties at its best with almost all the countries in the world due to continued efforts from the government in that direction in the recent years, it is reasonably certain that global community will not only appreciate India’s attempt to become a superior Asian economic superpower but will also support it in all possible ways to secure a strong future strategic relationship with it.

Hence, Indian leadership should indeed adopt and support “boycott Chinese” movement wholeheartedly and shrug off undue concerns raised by the naysayers as they are shortsighted and not well thought.

With almost all the countries looking away from China and unwilling to make any ties with it of any kind, India is best positioned to take a big leap forward and exploit the situation to turn itself from an Asian underdog to a clear frontrunner. India must grab this rare opportunity and turn this possibility into a reality.The overwhelming positive support from the public will only help the government race toward the finishing line faster than ever before.

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