A War Against China
Boycott Chinese products (Boycott Made in China, stop using Chinese products, stop buying Chinese goods or Boycott China ) is a slogan that advocates a boycott of Chinese –made products. Commonly cited reasons for the boycott include the alleged low quality of products, human rights issues, territorial conflicts involving China, support for separatist movements within China, and more recently, the government’s alleged mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic.
China is the largest country in the world by population, and the third largest by territory, sharing long borders with several other nations. Border conflicts have occurred many times between China and its neighbouring countries. As a result of these conflicts, there is dissent against China amongst its bordering nations, and calls for the boycotting of Chinese products originate from residual resentment due to border conflicts.
China’s exports to India account for only 2 percent of its total exports. So even if Indians boycott all the goods imported from China, it will not make as big an impact on china as to bring it to its knees before India.
Of course, China needs new markets for its manufactured goods, and India is one of those new markets where its electronic goods, especially smartphones, and toy have found a large market. But China can find markets in other Asian countries and even in Africa. It is also trying to create a market for its good in Europe. It is no way dependent on India.
Though the boycott can have very little direct impact, it can harm China in the long run.
China is emerging as a global power and it is trying to portray itself as a responsible economy. Any negative propaganda against China or any escalation in India-China conflict will harm China’s bid to portray itself as a progressive nation and not an authoritarian dictatorship.
China’s dream to emerge as the biggest global power is best exemplified by its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative where it tried to present itself as a responsible global economic force which is willing to work for greater economic good of all. A trade war with India, its biggest neighbour, will not sit well with China’s image makeover.
But that’s true for all kinds of conflicts and not just a boycott of Chinese goods. In the short term, the boycott is more harmful for India than China.
Ehtesham Ali Haider – Grade XII