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‘Boycott China’ Might Take Us Back In Time And Hurt Our Economy Deeply

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In the light of recent events, it felt important to acknowledge the ‘Boycott China’ movement and its growing trend. The result of it is going back in time and starting from scratch.

Trade figures suggest that India is the biggest importer of Chinese consumer goods. India imports almost seven times more from China than it exports to China. India has a huge trade deficit with China. India’s exports from China are merely $16.7 billion, while imports are only about $ 70.3 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $ 53.6 billion.

Also, the fact left unacknowledged is that China’s exports to India account for only 2% of its total exports. So, even if Indians boycott all Chinese products, it won’t make a huge impact on China. Data also suggests that China is India’s largest trading partner, but the trade is heavily skewed in favour of China. Thus, initiating a trade war with China when India’s manufacturing ability is limited is not going to favour India.

Even if we wanted to, it is nearly impossible to keep China out of our daily lives. There is some amount of China in every product that we consume. The irony is that the laptops and mobile phones we are using to forward messages of ‘Boycott China’ are themselves made in China.

cargo ship carrying import export
China’s exports to India account for only 2% of its total exports. So, even if Indians boycott all Chinese products, it won’t make a huge impact on China.

Why Does India Rely Heavily On China’s Exports?

The answer to this is practical economics. China can produce most of these goods in a cheaper and more efficient way than India. Thus, the average consumer does not care whether the product is made in China or somewhere else, if he is getting the finest product at the cheapest price.

The only way to boycott Chinese goods is if we produce an alternative product at home, which is far from ideal for India. Even after knowing all these facts, if we boycott Chinese goods, we would be travelling back in time, and this would effectively harm our overall social welfare.

Not to forget, our economic condition is suffering since a long time now. It is essential to consider India’s national interest. If we define our national interest as the greater good (higher income) for the greatest number of people, then import substitution would just not work. Imported products allow consumers from all income levels the ability to consume these products at lower prices and retailers to maximise on their sales.

China’s actions are a result of political conflict and largely needs a political resolution. If we were to boycott trades from every country that harms India in the geopolitical realm, we would be left with no one to trade with. Harming one’s own citizens in order to extract revenge on another country seems to be an ill-advised move. Everyone can take a call on what they want to buy or not.

In conclusion, this dependence on China is not good, but as of now, we do not have a comparative advantage in producing goods we import from China. However, with the right policies and better implementation, we can produce some items or contribute to a greater amount in the global production value chain. We need to improve our productivity, promote skill development at a larger scale, free up labour laws, fix our credit system, and the list goes on. It is critical to think wisely before we follow a path with the help of some logical reasoning.

You must be to comment.
  1. Roshan Narnoli

    I strongly disagree. Boycott China would be rather more profitable for the future of India and Indians.

    1. Priyanshi Jain

      Would like to explain how with some facts and figures?

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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