New Delhi: While Modi government banned Tiktok to “punish” China, ironically India-China trade in 2021 reached a record high surpassing $125 billion amid bilateral tensions.
This indicates that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan [drive to make India self-reliant] is nothing more than an illusion as he has totally failed to implement it on the ground.
Beijing’s state media have claimed that growing imports from China is just another piece of proof that New Delhi is unable to reduce its dependence on the Chinese market.
The total amount of trade between China and India in 2021 stood at $125.66 billion, up 43.3 per cent from 2020, said the Global Times report citing statistics released by the General Administration of Customs (GAC).
Of which, China’s exports to India were $97.52 billion, up 46.2 per cent, while China imported $28.14 billion worth of goods from India, up 34.2 per cent.
Analysts attributed the surge in trade to the complementary aspects of the industrial chains of the two countries.
For example, about 50-60 per cent of chemicals and other materials used by the Indian pharmaceutical industry, which is a pillar industry, are imported from China.
India was China’s 15th largest trade partner in 2021, the Global Times quoted the GAC as saying.
“Analysts said that the boycott of Made-in-China products will not balance the trade deficit and that boosting India’s exports to China is the right choice. Meanwhile, India should not exclude China when it seeks free trade agreements as China is already involved in international free trade mechanisms,” the Global Times said.
Total trade between China and countries that have signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – expanded significantly in 2021.
It is noteworthy that there have been tensions between India and China following a clash between armed forces of the two countries near the Line of Actual Control in May 2020, in which 15 Indian soldiers were allegedly killed.