The Coronavirus Pandemic is damaging China’s image and Beijing is now being hit where it hurts the most- its manufacturing and export sector. Two major players- India and Australia are looking to boycott its products, and a rattled China is already feeling the heat.
As per the latest report from CCP mouthpiece, Global Times, “Products made in China are causing a stir in Australia, with some Australians calling others to ditch Chinese items.” The CCP mouthpiece which usually gives a knee-jerk reaction only when Beijing is rattled has suffered a major meltdown.
It wrote, “Australians ‘overreact’ against Chinese products”. There is a clear anti-China sentiment in Australia, and even the Australian social media is replete with calls for boycotting Chinese goods.
@JacquiLambie does put forward a good argument on why #Australia needs to begin manufacturing its own goods again & encouraging us to buy Australian-Made. Especially now that the Chinese are threatening to boycott our imports.#Covid19aus #covid19australiahttps://t.co/yght4pPDlM
— V Greek (@greekopoulos) May 14, 2020
'Chinese students will not go there': Beijing education agents warn Australia
— 🇦🇺 Free Spirt (@FreeSpi51077148) June 10, 2020
Local media reports too have stated that Australian consumers do not want to buy “Made in China” bags, and there are discussions between Australian consumers aimed at boycotting China-made products.
This is what led to the Chinese State media outlet Global Times suffering a major meltdown. The last time Beijing suffered a major meltdown was when Indians made a call for boycotting “Made in China” goods.
The mouthpiece had then claimed, “Indians can hardly resist buying Chinese quality goods.”
It had also written, “If the Indian government allows the irrational anti-China sentiment to continue ruining bilateral relations, it is likely to draw tit-for-tat punishment from Beijing.”
China has been rattled, and has been issuing threads because it knows that anti-China sentiment in such countries is bound to debilitate its economic prosperity.
As for Australia, the bilateral relations between Beijing and Canberra are at an all-time low.
It all started with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanding an international probe into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, that is, the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
China however resorted to aggression to contain Australia. Over the recent past, Beijing has imposed tariffs on Barley and meat imports from Australia, apart from threatening to stop sending students and tourists down under. China wants to punish Australia- it is using Canberra’s economic dependence on Beijing to harass it.
And now China has also sentenced an Australian national to death after a Chinese Court convicted him on drug smuggling charges.
Sino-India tensions haven’t been too different either, though the Modi government hasn’t been as direct as the Morrison government. But the fact remains that there is palpable anti-China sentiment within India.
When the Coronavirus Pandemic reached India, open-source intelligence and fact-checking firm Voyager Infosec discovered that Chinese app TikTok was being used to circulate videos, prompting Muslims in India against following safe practices to avoid COVID-19.
This enraged Indian nationals, who decided to take on the Chinese video-sharing app. They flooded it with negative reviews on Google Playstore and its ratings plummeted to 1.3 stars.
However, search-giant Google jumped into the fray and salvaged the falling TikTok ratings.
And then Indian netizens came up with “Remove China Apps“- an app to rid mobile phones of Chinese apps that garnered 5 million downloads within a fortnight with a high rating of 4.9 Stars.
This App too was removed by Google at the behest of China, but it spooked Beijing. And this is actually what led to the Chinese State mouthpiece into threatening, “India’s cashing in on anti-China sentiment using the app RemoveChinaApps is likely to draw punishment from Beijing.”
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) June 2, 2020
Google’s pro-China attitude notwithstanding, India has come up with an app to substitute and kick out TikTok. Zee5, a leading OTT platform came up with Hypershots, a new video content app to replace TikTok.
Even India’s dairy giant, Amul came up with memes on Twitter that targeted the dragon and promoted “Make in India”. Twitter tried to restrict Amul’s handle but had to give in to popular sentiment. The tweets went viral and Amul had the last laugh.
Prime Minister Modi has never openly called for a boycott of Chinese goods. But people understand his call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India), and they understand that Chinese goods have to be boycotted if supply lines are to be re-shaped.
This is why the most powerful body of traders in India, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), has decided to boycott Chinese goods worth more than 1 lakh crore rupees- 13 billion dollars approximately- by December 2021.
This is not a sentimental move, but it calculated and well-planned to push Chinese goods out of India. This can alter trade equations significantly between New Delhi and Beijing, severely denting the trade surplus of around 48.66 billion Dollars that China enjoys over India.
The fact remains that governments do not have to push people for boycotts. The entire global community itself blames the PRC and wants to hurt the Communist Party of China (CCP).
It is common knowledge that China hid the Pandemic and human-to-human transmission for far too long. It also bought out the World Health Organisation (WHO) which delayed travel restrictions from China to other countries, apart from creating a sense of carelessness.
China lied, and people died- people across countries have lost loved ones and many have also lost livelihoods. The ongoing Pandemic has become a humanitarian crisis also. Everyone who has lost out on something blames China, and rightly so.
To make matters worse, China has not behaved responsibly even after creating the Pandemic. The Dragon has turned belligerent harassing other countries in their territorial waters in the South China Sea, and also showing aggression along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh with India.
Boycott of Chinese goods is a necessary corollary of its aggression, and Australia and China are leading this boycott.