Modi ally calls for boycott of China companies on Kashmir, trade

Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future, said Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch.
Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co. should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future, said Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch.PHOTO: AP

NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) - Indians should stop buying from Chinese companies and the government should reconsider trade concessions to its biggest neighbour after China allied with Pakistan on Kashmir, according to an economic policy group linked with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

Companies like technology giant Huawei Technologies Co should be barred from accessing the Indian market in the future and Chinese companies should be banned from state tenders, Mr Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch organisation, affiliated to the ruling party's ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, said in an interview on Thursday (Aug 22).

"Not just in Kashmir, we believe that Chinese companies are a security threat to India especially in telecoms," Mr Mahajan said by phone.

"Not just in consumer goods, they're a threat in telecoms because their companies have massive support from the state, are allowed to vastly underbid Indian companies and win tenders for critical infrastructure."

The group met Indian telecoms companies on Aug 17 to discuss strategies to be used to curb Chinese industry. It had also written a letter to Prime Narendra Modi seeking action against China, Mr Mahajan said.

Calls made to the Prime Minister's Office seeking comment went unanswered.

This isn't the first time that the Swadeshi Jagran Manch has called for a ban on Chinese goods and companies. The group, along with the Confederation of All India Traders called for a similar ban in March this year after China blocked the blacklisting of Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar, founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed, at the United Nations Security Council.

A ban called by both organisations during the festival of Diwali in 2016 wasn't successful, although traders anticipated the sale of Chinese products would fall by 30 per cent, the Press Trust of India reported. India has a trade deficit of over US$53 billion (S$73 billion) with China.