WHILE Indian and Chinese soldiers continue to engage in a standoff in a remote Himalayan border region, a survey has found clear majority of Indians prefer imported Chinese goods.
A survey by Indian pollster LocalCircles, reported in the country’s largest English-language daily the Hindustan Times, found 83 percent of the 8,973 respondents prefer goods from China “as they believe they are cheaper and that Indian goods are quite expensive.”
“Most products are cheap and their quality is not up to the mark. But Indian consumers buy them anyway,” wrote the Hindustan Times, whose report emphasised respondents’ preference for greater scrutiny of Chinese products.
According to the survey, 98 percent of Indian respondents said they wanted better screening of Chinese products before they entered the market. Some 96 percent said every importer of Chinese goods should display “Made in China” prominently on the packaging.
More than half said Chinese products should be banned altogether in some categories.
Troops from the world’s two largest countries have been in a standoff since mid-June at a tri-border region with Bhutan called Doklam, after India’s military was sent to stop China from constructing a road which India says will bring the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) too close for comfort.
India and China share a 3,500km long border over which they fought a war in 1962, which China won.
The Indian Express reported on Thursday China had stepped up the number of troops at the standoff site. Bilateral talks have not yet been able to provide a resolution, sparking fears of armed conflict between the neighbouring Asian giants.
Exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama has urged dialogue between China and India to resolve the conflict. “Two big nations don’t have the ability to eliminate the other or defeat the other. So you have to live side by side,” he said.
“This century should be a century of dialogue,” the Nobel peace laureate said in India’s capital New Delhi, as quoted by Reuters. “One-side victory, one-side defeat is old thinking.”
“Destruction of your neighbour is destruction of yourself. The only way is through talks.”