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Has India kicked off a trade war withChina? Here are 5 signs


The Doklam conflict between India and China may not have triggered a border warbut it might have launched a trade war. Or so it seems. India recently putrestrictions on the import of Chinese goods. Many of these restrictions arebeing seen in the Doklam context. 


These restrictions can at best be annoyingfor China since its exports to India account for only 2 per cent of its totalexports. Yet, these restrictions will serve as a warning to China, indicatingIndia's hardened posture. The Doklam conflict has raised India's apprehensionsabout China's 背后.


Below are a few items/sectors where India has restricted Chinese imports. 




Toy imports from China have dropped to less than a half, according to industryestimates, since the government introduced tough quality criteria and mandatedcertification of compliance by accredited agencies from September 1.


A notification issued by Director General of Foreign Trade on September 1prescribed criteria for physical and mechanical properties, chemical content,flammability, and testing for indoor and outdoor toys for both electrically andmechanically operated ones. The notification said import of toys would bepermitted freely only if the manufacturer abided by the Bureau of IndianStandards benchmarks. Chinese toys account for an estimated 70 per cent ofIndia’s Rs 5,000-crore toy industry.


Tempered glass


India has imposed anti-dumping duty also on tempered glass, which is used forprotecting mobile phone screens, from China for five years to protect thedomestic industry from below-cost imports. Investigations by the DirectorateGeneral of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) had found that tempered glasshad been exported to India from China below its associated normal value. Also,it concluded that domestic industry had suffered material injury which wascaused by the dumped imports of the goods from China.




Anti-dumping duty has been imposed on import of certain type of radial tyresused in buses and trucks to protect domestic manufacturers from below costshipments from China for five years. Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Associationhad filed an application on behalf of the domestic producers and had demandedinvestigation in dumping of tyres. The government said the domestic industryhad suffered material injury on account of the imports from China. It foundthat the tyres had been exported to India from the subject country “belownormal value”.




Chinese firms are on target in the power sector too. The Central ElectricityAuthority (CEA) recently prepared a report in which it set new conditions forfirms bidding for power transmission contracts, tipping the scales in favour oflocal companies. Power sector is dominated by Chinese firms such as HarbinElectric, Dongfang Electronics, Shanghai Electric and Sifang Automation whichsupply equipment or manage power distribution.


A high-level panel will look at possible checks on foreign firms investing inthe Indian power sector, a move aimed at preventing cyber attacks on theelectricity grid. This comes about two months after the eastern electricitygrid suffered a malware attack, allegedly from China.


Overseas firms eyeing investments in power plants in the country may have toundergo security clearances and may be mandated to employ majority Indiannationals including at top managerial positions, a senior government officialsaid. The panel will consider the recommendations that CEA made.




In August, the Ministry of Electronics and IT directed 21 smartphone makers,most of which are Chinese, to inform it about the procedures and processes theyfollow to ensure the security of mobile phones sold in India, following reportsof data leakage and theft The government officials didn’t directly link thegovernment move to India’s latest border tensions with China, but industryinsiders noted the move came amid continuing standoff between the two nations’armies at Dokalam. Also, there is rising concern over imports of IT and telecomproducts from China on the grounds that much of it may be used to gain unlawfulaccess to critical information with many Chinese manufacturers having theirservers in their home country.