Is the Doklam standoff spilling over to Indo-China trade relations?

Vanilla Sharma

While the Doklam standoff already refuses to die down, it looks like trade relations between India and China are also taking a hit due to the conflict. It was earlier reported that Chinese imports to India have risen 33 percent in the April-June quarter this year, compared to the same period last year, but New Delhi has now imposed anti-dumping duties on 93 Chinese products.

An article on the Global Times said that Chinese firms must now "reconsider the risks" of investing in India and "India should also be prepared for the possible consequences for its ill-considered action."

The report went on to say that China could also take similar steps but doesn't find it logical. "China could easily retaliate with restrictions on Indian products, but that doesn't make much economic sense for the country," it said.

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"If India really starts a trade war with China, of course China's economic interests will be hurt, but there will also be consequences for India."

Speaking about how many Chinese companies have invested in India and continue to do so, the website said that they should now be wary of India's stand in the matter and "re-evaluate such projects."

"But as trade relations deteriorate, Chinese investors, increasingly concerned about potential risk, must reconsider their options. Many will probably shelve their projects, especially the large ones."

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Meanwhile, as New Delhi and Beijing are locked in a standoff over the Doklam plateau for almost two months now, the bilateral relations between the two countries doesn't seem to be thawing anytime soon. Adding to the tensions, India and China also did not conduct the Border Personnel Meeting this Independence Day.

Before the BPM is conducted, both the sides usually give a confirmation on it a few days in advance, but this time the Chinese side reportedly did not respond to the invitation.

India China border

India is said to have sent the invite a few days ago for a BPM at five border points, but is yet to receive a response from the People's Liberation Army. "Invite was sent to PLA a few days ago, but they didn't respond. So orders were given to stand down and no BPMs will be held at any of the five locations tomorrow," the Economic Times quoted an officer as saying.

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BPMs are usually held on Indian Independence Day, Republic Day and PLA Day on August 1 at Nathu La in Sikkim, Daulat Beg Oldie and Chushul in Ladakh, and Bumla and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh. On the occasion, the armies of the two countries have discussions and group activities and also take part in sports.

Due to the Doklam standoff, Beijing this year didn't hold a BPM on PLA Day either.

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