Beijing, July 18: China's Global Times news portal on Tuesday, July 17, in an article aired caution over India's growing closer to the US by adopting protectionist measures against China. It said India was doing so perhaps to please the Americans ahead of trade talks and to pressurise China into addressing the growing trade imbalance between the two nations.
The article cited experts as saying that such a policy by India was "risky" for it is unlikely to get benefits from the US and also there is a danger of undermining its efforts towards boosting trade with the Chinese.
The Global Times report then spoke about India's plans to impose 25 per cent tariffs on solar cells and modules imported from China for two years. It also mentioned about India's reported concerns over its trade deficit with China and claims that China restricted visas for Indian professionals and exports of IT services, meat, rice and medicines to China.
Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University was quoted by the Times as saying: "It is clear that India is trying to copy Trump's protectionist actions against China." He also said that the proposed solar tariffs were not about anti-dumping investigations but simply aimed to protect India's domestic industry, the Global Times report said.
Lin said although the tariff proposals were yet to be approved by New Delhi but added that even if India went ahead with them, it would not hurt the Chinese firms much since the overall volume of China's supply of solar cells and modules to India was "very small".
It said the move was part of a much bigger strategy and it made India appear to be siding with the Donald Trump administration with the hope that such a policy will see it being exempted from America's tariffs on steel and aluminium.
It also said that India was trying to remedy the massive trade deficit with China, which was nearly 63 billion in 2017, according to expert sources.