K-shaped recovery in India will drive the poor to the wall
20:43 Jan. 28
Besieged with a
raging coronavirus pandemic and growing social contradiction, India's penchant
for playing geopolitical games isn't doing the country any good. Recently New
Delhi announced measures to tighten telecom gear controls, which has been
widely believed as targeting major Chinese suppliers including Huawei and ZTE.
discriminative stance is certain to backfire on the relatively poor South Asian
country, diminishing its economic growing momentum and throwing more of its
people into poverty.
specific firms, Indian authority announced plan to roll out lists of
"trusted" and "blacklisted" telecom equipment suppliers.
According to a Reuters report, some Indian government officials have privately
expressed concerns over local telecom carriers' adoption of Huawei gear, citing
Trump administration's guise of protecting "national security".
Even a few
Indian news outlets were frank saying that the measures were clearly targeting
Chinese suppliers, including Huawei and ZTE.
The latest plan
to tighten control on telecom gear comes after a series of India moves
assaulting Chinese companies this year, such as banning more than 200 Chinese
apps, heightened scrutiny of Chinese investments, and prolonging clearance time
of Chinese imports.
In addition to
the border dispute between the two countries, India has been complaining its
widening trade deficit with China. For a period of time, New Delhi seems to
have given up its strategic autonomy and tied itself to the chariot of US
hegemony, constantly provoking China from the border issue to intentional
which for a time had enjoyed high expectations of a very promising economic
growth potential, is now sliding downward amid a painful contraction, which
could last three to five years. Per latest IMF estimation, the Indian economy
may shrink 10.3 percent in 2020, comparing to the average 3.4 percent
contraction of other South Asian countries.
confirmed cases approaching 10 million, the populous country notable for its
striking wealth gap has seen rising internal struggles, including large-scale
farmers' protests and urban workers' strikes.
ambitious goal of growing into a dominant regional power, however, New Delhi's
inconstant policy and lack of comprehensive strategy have seriously hindered
the development of India's domestic industries. Increasingly, global investors
have qualms about the country's economic prospect.
As for India's
telecom industry, following the baseless attacking agenda of the US and trying
to squeeze out global 5G frontrunner Huawei and ZTE will ultimately delay
India's upgrading to the new network.
The same logic
goes to other Indian industries as well which have developed a highly
integrated connection with Chinese supplies, including auto parts, medical
materials, not to mention China's ample capital reserve and advanced technology
and corporate management. Once capital turns away, it's going to be hard to
lure them back.
meantime, the regional economic integration in East and Southeast Asia has
speeded up, following the ink of the mega free trade deal - Regional
Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - covering about 30 percent of the
global economy and population.
trade pact still leave a door open for India, it's unlikely for it to join in
the foreseeable future, as the ship of the seemingly speeding recovery in
post-pandemic era sailed without India onboard.
developed economies which are shored up by solid economic foundations, playing
geopolitical games with China is not affordable for a relatively poor country
like India. Now it's time for New Delhi to think it over.
The author is
director of the Institute of Bay of Bengal Studies at Shenzhen University.