India-China Border Tensions to Disrupt Trade Relations Between Both
Tensions over the India-China border have always been a matter of concern in South Asia. The present war-like situation is a part of an ongoing military standoff between China and India as the troops of both the countries have engaged in aggressive actions and face-offs, along the Sino-Indian border.
June 16 combat was the latest line of border flare-ups that fuelled a fresh round of anti-China sentiment in India. The clash led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers, including an officer. The casualties for China were even greater as the country saw the death and injury of at least 43 of its soldiers.
China has accused the Indian troops of crossing the Line of Actual Control. However, India has a different story to narrate. It said thousands of Chinese troops crossed to the Indian side of the LAC, the 3,488km (2,167-mile) de facto border between the two neighbours, at several places – Pangong Tso Lake, Galwan Valley and Demchok in Ladakh, and Nathu La in Sikkim – and have been building bunkers since early May.
A face-off took place days after Chinese military objected to Indian road construction in the Galwan River Valley. Indian officials said the soldiers engaged in brutal hand-to-hand clashes with clubs and staves about 4,270 metres (14,000 feet) above sea level amid sub-zero temperatures.
Days before the India-China border clash, nearly 12,000 additional workers were reinforced to finish off the Darbuk–Shyok–DBO Road infrastructure project in Ladakh. While analysing all the aspects, experts believe that the standoffs are China’s pre-emptive measures to stop the construction of Indian infrastructure, even though it has increasingly developed many of its own infrastructure in the disputed border region.
Over the time, both India and China have stated that their issues can very well be resolved through bilateral mechanisms and quiet diplomacy. But the procedure has never been an easy one for either of the sides. Amid the increasing India-China border tensions, there have been many campaigns against boycotting Chinese products in India. Although some of the Indian officials have cleared the air over the bans, saying the border tensions will have no impact on India-China trade relations.
A report shows that both India and China have enabled each other’s rise as emerging technology powerhouses for years now. Chinese tech giants have heavily invested in Indian start-ups. Since 2015, Chinese products investors have poured some $4 billion into Indian tech start-ups. It’s cheap smartphones and apps such as TikTok today dominate the Indian markets.
Meanwhile, India also plays an important role for China’s goal of becoming a dominant force in global tech. Both the countries have their share of profits and losses. The new rules to scrutinise the foreign direct investments (FDI) from countries that share a land border with India, announced earlier this year, were highly criticised by Asian analysts.
Amid the given scenario when the Indian government is trying to halt China’s free run in the market, the ongoing India-China border tensions and Chinese products’ boycott calls are only heightening the problems in hand. China is trying to put down the negative attention and seeking to establish a long-term presence in India. One major reason is its exports to India, which is far more than the other way around. The trade between both the countries in 2018-2019 fiscal year reached more than $87 billion.
Experts believe that cutting off China could mean job losses for many Indians. However, the growing clashes at India-China border cannot be neglected. The UN has urged both the countries to exercise maximum restraints as the tensions continue to invoke international concerns.
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