China reacts cautiously to mounting boycott calls of its products in India, says it values ties

PTI, Jun 19, 2020, 9:47 PM IST

Beijing: China on Friday reacted guardedly to calls for a boycott of Chinese products and investments in India following the brutal attack on Indian soldiers at the Galwan Valley, saying it values its relations with New Delhi and both countries are in talks to ease the situation.

The boycott calls and the growing anti-Chian sentiment is causing a sense of disquiet in China especially among its telecom companies like Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo etc which made a big dent in the Indian market, the second-largest in the world after China in mobile phones.

China is the biggest beneficiary of the bilateral trade with India, with about USD 60 billion balance of trade in its favour in about USD 92.68 total trade in 2019.

Asked about growing calls in India to boycott Chinese products and investments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the responsibility for the crisis lies with India.

“I would like to reiterate that regarding the serious situation in the Galwan valley, the right and wrong is very clear and the responsibility entirely lies with the Indian side,” he said.

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and the two sides agreed to “cool down” tensions on the ground “as soon as possible.”

During the conversation, Jaishankar conveyed to Wang India’s protest in the strongest terms on the violent face-off and said the unprecedented development will have “serious impact” on the bilateral ties.

“The Chinese side took premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties. It reflected an intent to change the facts on the ground in violation of all our agreements to not change the status quo,” Jaishankar told Wang.

At the Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Zhao said, “Both China and India are in communication with each other through diplomatic and military channels on easing the situation. China values our bilateral relations. We hope the Indian side can work with China to jointly maintain the long-term development of bilateral relations,” he said.

Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in the clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley on Monday night, in the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff between the two countries.

“The impact of rising tensions between China and India following the latest border brawl seems to be spreading to Chinese companies in India,” a report in the state-run Global Times said on Friday.

Chinese smartphone maker Oppo on Wednesday cancelled the live online launch of its flagship 5G handset in India, it said.

“The deadly border incident was something neither party could have anticipated or wanted to see, and the consequent rising nationalist fever in India has already caused significant pressure to bilateral relations and economic ties,” the report said.

“It is high time to call for both governments and the people to show rationality in the face of the border tension to maintain the stability of bilateral economic and trade ties. Whether China-India relations can weather the current difficulties will be a major test for the resilience of the two countries’ economic ties,” the report said.

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