Beijing says India harming its own economy as another 118 Chinese apps banned

Beijing says India harming its own economy as another 118 Chinese apps banned
Beijing says India harming its own economy as another 118 Chinese apps banned

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NEW DELHI: China on Thursday accused India of “abusing” the concept of national security by harming the rights of Chinese investors and the interests of Indian consumers after New Delhi banned more than a hundred more Chinese mobile applications.

The move was seen by some experts as a violation of international law.

India had already banned 47 Chinese apps last month in addition to the previously banned 59. The two superpowers have been in a military standoff since May over a disputed mountain border in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

“India has abused the concept of national security and adopted discriminatory restrictive measures against Chinese companies,” China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said in Beijing on Thursday.

He added that India’s action not only “harms the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese investors and services providers” but also the interests of Indian consumers “while doing damages to India’s investment climate as an open economy.”

Two of the most popular apps — TikTok, which was banned in June, and PUBG, which was banned on Wednesday — were widely used in India. On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government banned 118 mobile apps, citing data privacy concerns and a threat to national security.

“The government blocks 118 mobile apps, which are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, the security of the state and public order,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement.

According to experts, the ban on Chinese products violates international law and trade-wise is detrimental to India.

“It’s a violation of every law. We are a signatory of the World Trade Organization (WTO),” political analyst, Prem Shankar Jha, told Arab News.

“The sum total of China’s exports to India is just 2 percent but for us it is 14 percent of our imports, so we are cutting our own noses,” he said.

“Modi’s only interest is to save his own image. After the COVID fiasco and the crash in the economy he thinks that by adopting a hardline position he can build the image of a great Hindu nationalist. India is on a suicidal path.”

While New Delhi and Beijing have been engaged in a series of talks after a deadly clash between the two countries in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15 — the first in 45 years — when 20 Indian soldiers were killed and more than 70 injured, on Aug. 30 and 31 they again came to the brink of a fresh confrontation along the Pangong Tso Lake in the region.

Both sides blame each other for trespassing on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the undermarked boundary.

According to New Delhi-based political analyst, Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, of Jawahar Lal University (JNU), the ban on Chinese applications is not an attack on the Chinese economy but a message to Beijing that “it cannot be business as usual after the killing of 20 Indian soldiers.”

“That means we would not be engaging with each other in any kind of talks or business activities,” he said.

“If the Chinese don’t withdraw from the position which they have occupied in the Galwan then India would not withdraw from the area which it has moved in at the weekend.”  

While India’s foreign ministry on Thursday said with regard to tensions in the disputed Himalyan region that New Delhi is “firmly committed to resolving all outstanding issues through peaceful dialogue,“ Jha says that the language surrounding the dispute raises concerns that the conflict may get worse.

“Today the media is talking in the same language as it used to talk prior to the first war with China in 1962.

There is the same self-righteousness, the same casting of primary blame on the other side, the same calculated imprecision about what the actual deployments on the ground are. We are on the edge today,” he said.

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