China on Thursday warned India that boycotting of its goods would affect ties and investments between the countries.
“China is more concerned that the boycott will negatively affect Chinese enterprises to invest in India and the bilateral cooperation, which both Chinese and Indian people are not willing to see,” said Xie Liyan, spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
India is China’s largest trading partner in South Asia and ninth largest export market in the world.
Several groups had called for the voluntary boycott of Chinese goods this season -- fireworks made in China are a huge draw -- in protest against what they call China-Pakistan closeness. However, the ban has no official sanction.
The Chinese, though, made clear that such a move will hurt India more than them.
India has been seeking huge Chinese investments in its infrastructure sector. Such investments, it has long been said, will address the trade imbalance to an extent. India and China bilateral trade in 2015 was $71.6 billion, of which close to $50 billion is the deficit.
“The boycott effect will not be limited to Diwali related products, but extended to other Chinese products that are not related to the festival,” the embassy spokesperson said.
In the long run, the boycott will not only hurt Chinese goods sale, but also cause negative effects to consumers in India, he said.
“Without proper substitutes, the biggest losers of the boycott of Chinese goods will be Indian traders and consumers.”
China is the world’s largest trading nation in goods; its exports in 2015 amounted to $2276.5 billion.
“The exports to India accounted for only 2% of China’s total exports,” Xie noted.