China enjoys a massive trade surplus with India. For example during the April-January period of 2015-16 India”™s exports to China amounted to $7.56 billion whereas China”™s exports were $52.26 billion ““ a mammoth trade surplus for China of $44.7 billion.

The government needs to & is taking steps to realign this gross imbalance. Like during this period India initiated 322 anti-dumping cases out of which 177 cases involved China. But such steps involve serious considerations & have more of a medium to long term effect. Also they aren”™t always effective or even possible. Similarly setting up domestic industries to compensate for the imports takes a long time to come into action. But there is one action that we Indians can initiate in our day-to-day lives that can have immediate effects ““ boycotting Chinese products. Let”™s see what the multifold effects of our action can be ““

  • Reduction of trade deficit ““

It won”™t always be difficult to find close substitutes to Chinese products only if we care to look. In some situations we may have to compromise on our choices or may have to pay a bit more, but if we can boycott Chinese products the cumulative effect would have a visible effect on the bilateral trade. We can reduce the trade surplus that China enjoys.

  • Promotion of domestic industries ““

Again, if we are aware & sincerely desire to avoid buying Chinese products then this would be extremely beneficial to industries within our own country. Our increased demand would raise the scope of employment & earnings of our own brothers & sisters.

  • Independent India ““

Industrialisation is one thing, but being able to take it to such a level that almost all of a nation”™s needs are fulfilled from within the borders takes a lot of time & effort as huge sums of capital are needed to flow into setting up industries & plants. At times an obstacle to achieving this is also that people prefer imported products & seem adamant in not changing their choices. This discourages the government & entrepreneurs from lunging into the production of such products as they fear they wouldn”™t find a market even though the demand exists. So for an independent India we must FIRST create demand for products produced within our country or have the possibility of being produced within so that entrepreneurs can then take up production.

  • Dampening China”™s support to Pakistan ““

It is no secret that China invests heavily in Pakistan, provides it with nuclear technology, & exports a great worth of weapons. Also in case an armed conflict ensues between India & Pakistan, one can be rest assured that China will help Pakistan with money so that it can fight the war. Now we can”™t do anything to stop China from doing so as it”™s a part of its foreign policy & its entitled to it. But we surely can REDUCE the capacity of the Chinese to help Pakistan. If we encourage domestically produced products in comparison to Chinese products then industries in China will suffer. It may lead to lay-offs & shutting down of industries there. As it is China is on an economic slowdown & if its exports (on which it thrives & survives) are brought down, it would aggravate China”™s economic woes. This will force China to at the very least reconsider its whole-hearted financial support to Pakistan.

  • Buying better quality products ““

Are we ever satisfied with the quality of Chinese products? If ever a product stops to function or develops a problem in a short time, we invariably assume ““ “˜China ka maal hoga.”™ Then why do we go on & on buying them? Habit. I guess we”™ve never stopped for a moment & thought whether the product we were purchasing was Chinese or not. So even from an individual”™s perspective it is beneficial for us to avoid Chinese products as much as we can. Contrary to which we”™ve always thought that Japanese products are of high-quality. So change over from Chinese to other products whenever possible.

Surely boycotting Chinese products is easier said than done ““ they”™re everywhere! But we can do this if we only inculcate the habit of briefly reminding ourselves to check whether the product we”™re buying is made in China or not. If yes, look for substitutes ““ it”™ll take only a little bit of your time. If there is none then one can”™t do anything. But if there is (it may be slightly costlier) then reconsider your initial purchase decision & see if you can stretch your pocket a bit & purchase the latter.

This is how we can do a great service to India that too in our everyday life. We can raise employment & wages, we can give boost to India achieving the status of a highly-industrialised & developed nation, & most importantly we can dampen the capacity of the Chinese to fund our enemy Pakistan!

Vinayak Jain

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