The mood in India has turned completely against China following the incidents in Ladakh with an overwhelming number of people, more than 93 per cent, in favour of severing all trade ties with China, according to an IANS CVoter Snap Poll.
The public mood is anti-China and even the BJP/NDA supporters are dead against normal ties/trade ties with China, the survey shows. It is not just that voters supporting the Opposition are in this strident mood, but the BJP supporters are also very negative towards China.
Given the sweeping nature of the anti-China sentiments cutting across socio-economic groups, the Modi government will have to do a tightrope walk to chalk out the future foreign policies with regard to China, keeping an ear to the ground, especially with its own supporters in favour of cutting off trade and business ties.
In a previous survey, 70 per cent of Indians were of the view that Covid 19 is a China hatched conspiracy. That strong distrust has only been strengthened now with the latest developments, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night.
Yashwant Deshmukh, Founder of CVoter, said, "China's trustworthiness has been damaged. The 18 meetings in 6 years between the top leaders of India and China had to some extent improved relations. But with these developments, the mood towards China has gone back to 1962 days. It will take a long time to recover this trust."
India and China had gone to war in 1962.
The question posed in the survey was given the tremendous amount of tension on the India-China border and many Indian soldiers getting killed in a bloody clash on Monday night, should India continue its trade relations with China?
As many as 93.4 per cent of the respondents said yes, India should snap trade ties with China.
An even higher, 97.9 per cent of BJP/NDA supporters want snapping of trade ties while 88.3 per cent, a much lower number, of Opposition supporters are towards this tilt.
Interestingly, more women than men are in an anti-China mood as 97.5 per cent women favour this against 89.7 per cent men.
The only exception is the middle age group (45-60 years) which are more cautious as only 69.8 per cent favour a cut in trade ties while those in higher education category, at 63.4 per cent, want this approach. Ditto for the higher income group where the numbers are lower at 66.9 per cent.
Across the socio economic groups, there is a strong mood against China. As many as 96.7 per cent Muslims favour strong action against China.
The urban sentiment is much more muted compared to semi-urban and rural with 82.7 per cent in favour of snapping ties.
In the states of Bihar, Chhatisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the support for cutting trade ties is more than 90 per cent with the exception of J&K at 89.7 per cent.