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As dragon breathes fire on border, India throws out Chinese firms

In its latest offensive against China, India has cancelled a tender for making 44 semi-high speed ‘Vande Bharat’ trains. Of the six bidders, China-based CRRC Yongji Electric Company was the only foreign bidder which had applied through a joint venture as CRRC Pioneer Electric (India).

The Ministry of Railways tweeted: "Tender for manufacturing of 44 nos of semi high speed train sets (Vande Bharat) has been cancelled. Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order."

In over two months since the June 15 ambush on Indian troops by club-wielding Chinese soldiers, India has been making policy changes to push China out of the vast and lucrative Indian market.

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As the Chinese prolong their stay on the border, India keeps weeding them out from its commercial landscape. <strong><a href="https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/how-indias-economic-offensive-cost-china-over-rs-51000-crore-so-far/story/408861.html">This report by</a> <em>Business Today</em> </strong>from July 3 said that Chinese industry has already lost Rs 51,000 crore worth of investments in India.

Much has happened since then. Despite apprehensions and fears voiced by experts and China sympathizers about de-linking and "decoupling the Indian economy from China", the government has done precisely that—decoupled it, and de-coupled it comprehensively.

After reports of China taking up 1.01 percent equity in HDFC came to light in April, India tightened investment norms to water down the predatory Chinese sentiment unleashed in the wake of the debilitating coronavirus that birthed in Wuhan.

Within a fortnight of the Galwan Valley incident, the government decided to disallow Chinese companies from participating in highway projects and to keep Chinese investors away from the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari told the <em>Press Trust of India</em>: “We will not give permission to joint ventures that have Chinese partners for road construction. We have taken a firm stand that if they come via joint venture in our country, we will not allow it.”

India is walking the talk on China. It is not just the Central government, even state governments, public sector undertakings (PSUs) and autonomous bodies are cancelling tenders to Chinese companies.

Haryana cancelled two tenders, worth around Rs 780 crore, for installation of flue gas de-sulphurization (FGD) system at its thermal power plants in Hisar and Yamunanagar. The state promises to cancel more contracts with Chinese firms in the coming days.

The Uttarakhand government too asked its officials to scrutinize if the government had signed any contracts with Chinese companies.

<img class="size-medium wp-image-9520 alignleft" src="https://indianarrative.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/US-China-trade-war-300×197.jpg" alt="China, No Longer the ‘Factory of World’" />

The anti-China sentiment remains strong. Expressing his views against Chinese investments at the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had said: "There is a need for reviewing all the previous trade agreements in a bid to ensure that Chinese products are not used.”

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) is moving the World Bank to cancel a Rs 471-crore signaling project awarded to the China Railway Signal &amp; Communication Co. Ltd (CRSC). DFCCIL is terminating the contract owing to poor progress and non-availability of engineers on the site.

Similarly, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) cancelled bids for ten monorail rakes received from Chinese companies—CRRC Corporation Ltd and BYD Co Ltd. MMRDA said that it will scout for local partners as the Chinese companies were trying to modify tender conditions.

As has been reported consistently across the international media, India is shooing away the well-entrenched Chinese telecom companies. The government has already asked state-owned and also private telcom operators to not use China-made equipment in the upgradation of 4G facilities owing to threats to national security. The consequence is that BSNL is unlikely to permit Huawei and ZTE to participate in upgrading the 4G network.

The government barred unregistered companies sharing a land border with India from bidding for Central and state government projects, PSU tenders and those issues by autonomous bodies. The bidders have to be registered with the government. For those seeking registration will have to take political and security clearance from the Ministries of Home Affairs and External.

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In June, Indian Railways scrapped a tender for thermal cameras meant for Covid-19 surveillance after Indian firms alleged that the tender specifications favoured a Chinese company. <a href="https://www.railjournal.com/regions/asia/china-india-tensions-cloud-chinese-involvement-in-indian-metro-projects/"><strong>Even metro projects</strong> </a>awarded to Chinese companies face the axe.

A determined India is uprooting China from almost every nook and cranny where the Chinese firms have embedded themselves in the Indian commercial landscape.

State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL), which had undertaken the world's largest project to provide two million smart meters and had awarded the contract to PT Hexing, owned by Hexing Electrical Co of Hangzhou, China, is now issuing the tender again. This time the tender is even bigger—three million smart meters.

Owing to multiple hits—the coronavirus pandemic, continued Chinese aggression, the lockdown and a weakening economy—India is undertaking measures to boost self-reliance through reduced imports of non-essential items, is promoting local manufacturing and generating employment. The same measures also seek to keep Chinese companies away from leveraging the huge Indian market and reducing the negative import balance.

A realization has dawned globally that by opening their economies to China on unequal grounds, the liberal and democratic nations had been feeding a monster. Now the Chinese monster is coming back at them not with gratitude but with hostility and contempt.

As India continues to punish China in the commercial space, it also sends out a determined message to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the world that India is not a pushover..