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India not keen on any knee-jerk reaction against China

India not keen on any knee-jerk reaction against China

India is not working on any drastic measures against China, its second largest trading partner, even as several countries including Japan have raised concerns over the latter’s influence in world affairs in the wake of rapid spread of coronavirus.

Gopal Krishna Agarwal, BJP’s national spokesperson on economic affairs, told IN that democracy, demography, and demand have been India’s core strength. “There is no need for any knee-jerk reaction against China at this stage.”

He said the issue of trade needed a holistic approach, adding that it was being looked into even prior to the outbreak of the disease.

“There is no reason for us to blame any country for the outbreak of the disease, we need to look at the issue of trade holistically, and should not be linked it to the Covid-19 spread. We withdrew from the RCEP much earlier and have already raised import duties on several items to protect our domestic businesses and producers,” Agarwal said.

Last year, India pulled out of the RCEP or Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership—the mega trade deal proposed between 16 countries — to protect the domestic manufacturers.

That apart the government has already raised import duties on a host of items, including fans, shavers, refrigerators and many other electronic goods to protect the domestic manufacturers and promote Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship ‘Make in India’ scheme.

Further, import duties on toys too were increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent—a jump of 200 per cent.

“This is no doubt a crisis situation but no crisis should be allowed to go waste,” Agarwal said, adding that the government was ready to take several steps to boost demand. “There has been no threat to democracy and demography, only demand has been hit by this crisis and we are already working on ways to boost demand in the coming months.”

China, where the Sars-Cov2-induced novel coronavirus originated, has come under the spotlight after it not only failed in tackling the spread of the disease within its own borders but also concealed the crucial information about the virus, which has now eventually spread across the world, bringing global economy to a near halt.

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed to carve out measures to lessen over-dependence on just one economy, that is, China. The country has allocated about $2.2 billion for assisting its domestic companies to shift their manufacturing facilities back home or look at other countries in southeast Asia..