Many Indians think boycotting Chinese goods will put pressure on China. It's a mistaken belief.

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After China put a technical hold on the UN Security Council resolution to designate Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) as a global terrorist, Indians are once again livid at Beijing. Azhar's JeM was responsible for attack on a CRPF convoy in J&K on February 14 in which nearly 40 personnel were killed. This was fourth time China has derailed such a proposal in last 10 years. 

Indian social media is abuzz with calls for boycott of Chinese goods, a typical mass response whenever China hits at Indian interest. However, boycott may not be the right way to respond to China. 

Why? In a mistaken belief, many Indians think boycotting Chinese goods will put pressure on China. On the contrary, it will harm India as India is dependent on Chinese imports. 

According to Exonomic Times, India exports less to China (mainly raw materials) and imports more (mainly electronics and other manufactured goods which are in high demand). India's pharma sector has critical dependence on Chinese imports used in drugs manufacturing. 

China's exports to India account for only 2 per cent of its total exports. So even if Indians boycott all the goods imported form China, it will not make as big an impact on China as to bring it to its knees before India. 

China is India’s largest trading partner, but the trade is heavily skewed in favour of China. A trade war when Indian manufacturing ability is limited is not going to favour India. India’s imports from China are crucial at this stage. 

India today imports telecom gear worth over Rs 70,000 crore annually, much of it from Chinese firms like Huawei and ZTE. Chinese companies dominate the telecom sector in India. In handsets, they control 51% of India’s $8 billion plus smartphone market with brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus.

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