Indians can hardly afford an economic conflict with China

By Hu Xijin Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/1 14:08:40

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

India's eight core industries indices fell by 15% year-on-year in the second quarter. Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 pandemic has already spiraled out of control in India, the country has seen more than 40,000 new confirmed cases a day for several consecutive days with 779 people perishing on the latest day, bringing the total number of fatalities to more than 35,000.

It is the hottest time of year in India, and the wicked and highly contagious COVID-19 has not spared the country. India is now the third most infected country in the world and there is widespread concern that many of India's infections, including deaths, are uncounted.

Like China, India's central mission is undoubtedly development. There is a border dispute between China and India, but the task of strengthening the economy and improving people's livelihoods in both countries is arduous.

I can't believe why these two countries would put aside cooperation on economic development but to fight each other over border disputes. That obviously does not serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples. 

Chinese society has calmed down after the conflict in the Galwan Valley in June, and hopefully  India will also calm down soon. Neither country should let border disputes interfere with the key goals of the two countries to develop their economies. 

New Delhi is now imposing the so-called economic sanctions on China by banning Chinese apps, preventing Chinese companies from participating in Indian infrastructure, among other discriminations against Chinese. 

To be frank, the current state of India's economy does not give it the strength to sanction China. The sanctions will only make India's economy much worse by eliminating jobs and keep its consumers away from high-quality and inexpensive Chinese products. 

Such economic nationalism will only exacerbate the suffering of Indian people during a decimating pandemic.

The border dispute between China and India is the legacy of colonialism. China and India must have the wisdom to resolve this issue and manage the damage it poses to our societies today. 

This requires China and India to interact with each other in good faith, rather than fighting a contest of nationalistic will. India, in particular, should not be fooled by the US government. Washington wants India to give up everything, fight against China, and make itself a cannon fodder to serve the US' strategy of containing China.

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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