Different statistical standards lead to discrepancies between Chinese, Indian trade rankings: FM
Published: May 31, 2022 07:47 PM
A staff member refuels a vehicle at a gas station in New Delhi, April 6, 2022. Fuel prices in India saw an increase for the fourteenth time on Wednesday since March 22. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)

A staff member refuels a vehicle at a gas station in New Delhi, April 6, 2022. (Xinhua/Javed Dar)

China remained India's top trading partner in 2021 based on Chinese data, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday, in response to different trade rankings according to Indian statistics.

Last year, China's trade with India hit $125.66 billion and topped $100 billion for the first time, Zhao told a regular media briefing in Beijing, citing Chinese offical statistics that showed China remains India's largest trading partner.

Chinese and Indian statistical methods that are at variance result in discrepancies between their respective trade numbers, Zhao said.

"China doesn't dissent over India's developing normal trade relations with other countries and doesn't have much interest in trade ranking changes."

What China cares about is whether India stands ready to create a fair, transparent and sustainable environment for bilateral trade and investment, and to further expand bilateral reciprocity and cooperation for there to be tangible benefits for the two countries and their people, the spokesperson said.
He made the remarks in response to a question about a different set of numbers from India that showed the US replaced China as India's No.1 trading partner last year.

Trade between the US and India stood at $119.42 billion in 2021-22, while India's trade with China aggregated at $115.42 billion during the period, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported, citing data from the Indian commerce ministry.

The China-India border situation is trending toward stabilizing at large, and the two sides have maintained close communication through diplomatic and military channels, Zhao told reporters on Tuesday.

China has always believed that the border issue isn't the entirety of the China-India relationship, and it ought to fit appropriately into bilateral relations and be put under effective control, the spokesperson commented.

He urged India to work with China in tandem to increase mutual trust, strengthen pragmatic cooperation and ensure bilateral relations proceed on the right track. 

Separately, Zhao urged India to act in accordance with laws and regulations and provide a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese firms investing and operating in the South Asian nation.

When asked about India's probe into the local units of Chinese tech firms ZTE and Vivo for alleged financial improprieties, Zhao said the Chinese government keeps a close watch on the incident and has always required Chinese businesses to align their overseas operations with local laws and rules. 

"Meanwhile, we resolutely support Chinese firms in safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests."

In another controversial move, India's anti-money laundering agency in April seized assets worth about $725 million from the local bank accounts of Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi for allegedly breaching the country's foreign exchange laws.

Global Times