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Opinion | Boycott Chinese goods, teach China a bitter lesson for border intrusions

Voices of dissent are mounting inside China and President Xi Jinping's government is facing problems on multiple fronts. In order to divert people's attention from domestic issues, the Chinese army is deliberately carrying out intrusions on the LAC to foment India-China tensions.

Rajat Sharma Rajat Sharma @RajatSharmaLive
New Delhi Updated on: June 02, 2020 11:44 IST
Aaj Ki Baat June 1
Image Source : INDIA TV

Aaj Ki Baat June 1

In my prime time show 'Aaj Ki Baat' on Monday night, we showed how China is misusing social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp to circulate fake pictures and videos of Indian army jawans at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. This is part of the Chinese army's psychological operations to create fear and suspicions in the minds of Indians who use WhatsApp and Twitter regularly. 

Last month Chinese troops tried to stop Indian army from carrying out construction activity within our territory in eastern Ladakh, they began stoning and our jawans shooed them off using force, the Chinese troops then set up tents, brought in armoured vehicles and started a buildup of more than 5,000 soldiers. In retaliation, the Indian army also beefed up its presence at the LAC by bringing additional troops and a standoff ensued that still continues.

Both the armies are now busy in several rounds of talks, but in the meantime, the Chinese army, with the active connivance of their Pakistani collaborators, started posting fake pictures and videos of Indian jawans on Twitter and WhatsApp to create doubts in the minds of ordinary Indians. 

Unfortunately, many gullible Indians fall prey to such fake propaganda and forward them in their groups. I appeal to every patriotic Indian to ignore and delete such fake videos circulated by the Chinese army. 

Our defence correspondent Manish Prasad spoke to senior Indian army officers and they described the pictures and videos as fake ones posted by the Chinese propaganda factory. One picture originated from a Chinese Twitter handle OedoSoldier. The Chinese army does not have the courage to own up these fake pictures and videos and post them on their official sites, because they know there are either old, or morphed or fake.

Our correspondent showed videos prepared by the Indian army in which Chinese soldiers were adopting aggressive postures. These videos also show that there were at least three rounds of talks between both armies in the month of May to defuse tension. 

The last meeting took place on May 28. After these meetings, the Chinese PLA troops retreated into their territory. Our jawans spent some time near the river, wary about the Chinese response in Galvan valley and then returned to our old positions. 

Former Indian army DGMO Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia says, China, after being snubbed by India in Ladakh, is now indulging in PsyOps (Psychological Operations) that is part of psychological warfare. This is the reason behind fake Chinese videos on social media.

China is presently facing serious domestic and international problems and wants to divert its people's attention to the India-China border dispute. 

It has been universally accepted that China is responsible for the worldwide spread of COVID-19 pandemic, and it is fast becoming the international pariah. Most of the developed countries in Europe, USA, Australia and Japan are holding China responsible for the spread of the pandemic. 

At the same time, China is facing massive popular unrest in Hong Kong where people are demanding democratic rights. China has been criticized for supplying poor quality PPE kits, masks and spurious testing kits to many countries. 

Most of the countries have lost trust in Chinese products and there is widespread anger over poor quality Chinese goods.  Many countries are wary of buying Chinese products, and for the first time in several decades, the unemployment rate in China has gone up to 27 per cent because its economy has been derailed.

Voices of dissent are mounting inside China and President Xi Jinping's government is facing problems on multiple fronts. In order to divert people's attention from domestic issues, the Chinese army is deliberately carrying out intrusions on the LAC to foment India-China tensions. 

India can teach China a bitter lesson on the economic front if every Indian stop buying Chinese products. The Chinese economy derives its power when buyers in big markets like India purchase its products. 

India and China have a bilateral trade of 90 billion dollars (Rs 6 lakh crore), out of which Rs 5 lakh crore worth Chinese goods were imported by India. Only Rs 1 lakh crore worth Indian goods were exported to China. 

In January this year, China exported Rs 41,956 crore worth goods to India, while India exported only Rs 10,800 crore worth goods to China. In February, imports from China into India fell (because of COVID) to Rs 31,764 crore and Indian exports to China declined to only rs 7,999 crore. 

These figures clearly show that the huge Chinese economy machine runs on Indian money. China has been using India as a big market for its products to keep its economy alive. India annually imports Rs 2.25 lakh crore worth electronic goods like cellphones, cameras, laptops and electronic gadget parts from Chinese companies.

India imports Rs 10,000 crore worth Chinese toys, Rs 12,000 crore worth Chinese cotton, and Rs 15,000 crore worth Chinese furniture. Indian markets are choc-a-bloc with Chinese interior lights, fancy lights, cellphones, silk, artificial leather and products made from animal hides.

China has been importing iron ores and other raw minerals from India and has been reselling finished steel, copper and iron products made from our own raw material. 

Millions of Indians use Chinese-made cellphones that have inbuilt apps that store crucial data relating to contacts, bank account details, and even the passwords. These data are stored on Chinese servers. Each one of us should be wary while using Chinese cellphones and laptops as we may be unwittingly passing on data relating to our personal lives and banking account details.

Once we start boycotting Chinese products and buy Indian-made goods, the Chinese leadership will understand the strength of the Indian economy. China will try its best to create new flashpoints on the border, but we must focus on self-reliance (atma-nirbharta). 

A small step like boycotting Chinese goods by each one of you will make a good beginning. The Chinese mandarins will then understand which side their bread is being buttered and they may learn the lesson about avoiding misadventures on our border.

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