New Delhi: China once again became India’s top trade partner in 2020, even as the call to boycott Chinese products raged across amid the violent faceoff at Line of actual control (LAC) in Ladakh, revealing India’s reliance on imports. ALSO READ | Disengagement Only Between Indian Army & China’s PLA, ITBP To Continue Patrolling LAC
According to a report by Bloomberg citing provisional data from the Indian commerce ministry, the two-way trade between both countries was at $77.7 billion last year.
This figure is lower than the previous year’s $85.5 billion total, but it still makes China the largest commercial partner of India over the United States with which the bilateral trade came in at $75.9 billion.
Even though there were calls for becoming ‘Aatmanirbhar’ and during the most difficult period in Indo-China relations, hundreds of Chinese apps were banned, India continues to display heavy reliance on Chinese-made machinery, telecom equipment and home appliances. The bilateral trade gap with China was approximately $40 billion in the previous year, making it India’s largest.
Total imports from China being at $58.7 billion are more than the combined figures from the U.S. and the U.A.E, which are India’s second and third-largest trade partners.
These details come in at a time when India-China relations are improving as the disengagement process at LAC continues. India and China on Sunday concluded the 16-hour long 10th round of Corps commander level talks at Moldo on the Chinese side of LAC.
The Defence Ministry had stated that the 10th round of the India-China Corps Commander Level meeting was held on the Chinese side of the Moldo/Chushul border meeting point.
The two sides positively appraised the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area noting that it was a significant step forward that provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along LAC in the Western Sector.
While the situation at the Ladakh border improves, the dependence on China may still be seen as a major challenge in India’s aim to become self-reliant.