China’s latest transgression on the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh prompted calls on Wednesday to cut trade ties to teach Beijing a “lesson,” but official data show that India’s imports from the country have reached a 30-month high.
In a tweet, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Why don’t we stop our trade with China? The majority of Chinese imports are manufactured in India. This will teach China a lesson, and jobs will be created in India.”
Nonetheless, data from the Department of Commerce show that India’s trade with China surpassed the $100 billion mark and reached an all-time high of $115.83 billion in 2021-2022, a 34.06 percent increase over the $86.39 billion in 2020-2021.
Since 2010–2011, when a rise of 35.82% was registered, the annual increase in trade with China in the most recent fiscal year was the highest in percentage terms. Trade with China totaled $69.114 billion in the first seven months (April to October) of the current fiscal year (2022–2023).
China was New Delhi’s second-largest trading partner after the United States ($119.48 billion), accounting for 11.19% of the country’s total trade in 2021–2022, or $1035 billion.
After restrictions were loosened, China’s monthly imports, which peaked at $3.32 billion in June 2020 during the Covid lockdown, began to increase and reached $5.58 billion the following month (July 2020). It has been increasing ever since, reaching a new high of $10.24 billion in July of this year.
China’s average monthly imports rose from $5.43 billion in 2020–2021 to $7.88 billion in 2021–2022 as a percentage of global trade. The total amount spent in the first seven months of 2022–2023 was $8.61 billion (April–October).
Prior to the Covid era in 2019–2020, monthly imports were an average of $5.43 billion.