On 17th October 2020, Indian Youtuber Gaurav Chaudhary, also known as Technical Guruji, raised Twitter’s concern. He stated that Xiaomi Smartphones are not displaying the weather conditions of any city in Arunachal Pradesh. He asked his Twitter Fam to spread the word regarding this using the #XiaomiJawabDo.
Many people on Twitter started retweeting and asking Xiaomi the reason behind this malfunction. So, what possibly could the reason be?
It’s pretty much evident that India and China have disputes regarding Arunachal Pradesh. So, Xiaomi being a Chinese company, has come out to support the People Republic Party of China.
Even after the ban on Chinese products made by Narendra Modi, many people use Chinese phones because they are way cheaper. You can’t convince someone to buy a Samsung phone having low-quality features over a Xiaomi phone having more features at the same price.
Know it all: The History of Indo-China disputes
China occupied Tibet in the late 1960s. During that time, to maintain peace, the British divided a line between the two nations giving China most of Tibet, and that line is known as the McMahon Line. Later, Beijing backed off and claimed that Tibet’s provincial government had no right to sign a treaty.
The present scenario refuses to acknowledge the McMahon Line as the border between India & China. It claims that Arunachal Pradesh must come under its territory, and there have been disputes at LAC regarding this.
Did Xiaomi phones make corrections?
Gaurav tweets after Xiaomi corrects its mistake.
Well, On 18th October 2020, Gaurav Chaudhary tweeted that Xiaomi corrected their mistakes and added the cities of Arunachal Pradesh, thereby showing all cities’ weather conditions except Leh. He asked Xiaomi to correct their errors in one go.
What are your reviews on this move made by Xiaomi phones? Is China crossing a particular line of decency?
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The South China Sea is a global flashpoint, with many parties directly and indirectly involved, the dispute is far from over. Earlier it might have been a dispute of territorial and water regions but now it stands symbolic to global domination, hence no one wishes to step back. Every move, stand, and strategy now have serious implications. The South China Sea is part of the pacific ocean, encompassing an area of about 35,00,000 square kilometers positioned below the South East Asian region; this sea falls as EEZ if undisputed for many nations and has the potential to boost economic conditions.
WHY SO IMPORTANT Approximately 3.37 trillion U.S. dollar trade passes from this region, if china establishes its complete dominance over this region it potential can affect the global trade system and ultimately the global economy. Also, this region has a vast amount of natural resources such as petroleum and a huge amount of fish catch.
Another reason for its significance is that any biased resolve of this dispute will destabilize the complete South East Asia which will not only impact the Trade sector but also travel, space, and sea exploration.
History of this region
History of this region remains dubious because of different claims by different nations and the attached evidence because the evidence tells a tale entirely contradicting claims of other nations. Some notable ones are Japan claim that during world war when Japan used these islands as bases these were completely out of occupation. Japan after World War II abandoned these Islands thereafter starting turmoil among the regional parties with claims. China due to its power stature is now in possession of these islands.
Parties Involved & Claims
China is the most prominent party involved in this dispute it claims complete control over the Island groups and entire sea region. China issued a map in 1947 detailing its claim, but its claims fall flat as there were no coordinates assigned to its claim.
Vietnam has its claims settled over 75% of the island region especially Spratly and Paracels Island with evidence of active ruling in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Vietnam was involved in two physical clashes in 1974 and 1988 with China over this territory and suffered major losses of life and prestige.
The Philippines is another major claimant in the area. It invokes its proximity to the Spratly Islands as the main basis of its claim for part of the grouping.
Malaysia and Brunei claim territory that they say is within their EEZ (economic exclusion zones), as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Brunei does not claim any area on the disputed islands.
Malaysia claims some islands in the Spratlys.
America is not a direct party in this dispute but as it has assumed the role of guardian of the world and for its vested interest in the free flow of trade it emerges as biggest opposition to China.
India too isn’t a direct party but it has reasons to act seriously in this matter
1. 55% of International Indian trade (Goods and Services) passes through the Strait of Malacca. Free navigation will be objected as soon as this territory is in complete control of China.
2. To rise as an International superpower India to wants to weigh in International matters of Global concern, being a regional power South China sea is the biggest opportunity for India.
3. Policies of china have always been Anti-Indian such as their stands on Kashmir, CAA, and Indian entry in G8.
4. India has vested interest in Vietnam as India is responsible for petroleum extraction and if Vietnam fails to settle its claim India will lose a chunk of its benefits.
America in wake of its scheme to pressurize China on every front keeps increasing its presence in the South China Sea on the name of free navigation.
Recently America placed the USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz Aircraft carriers in South China. This move is likely to be consequential and we are yet to grasp of its aftermaths
This world is not going to see an end to this conflict real soon as this war is now not only of Territory, it most certainly is a conflict of prestige and ego.
The world as we know it today seems to be forming an alliance against China, mostly because of suspicions behind the widespread Covid19, due to which as many as 552K people succumbed to their deaths (as of 10/07/2020).
There were many accusations thrown at China, most of which were conspiracies like the Coronavirus being released and created on purpose, and some were serious accusations like the “late transmission of data about the virus to other countries”.
With all of this, Australia, backed by its neighbour New Zealand, was the first to demand a probe into the matter.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief also called for an “independent and scientific” probe.
Meanwhile, the US insisted on investigating on its own.
But this is not all, China’s relationship with Taiwan and India and its disregard for territorial sovereignty has already made people question its authority in the United Nation’s Security Council.
According to India Today, “most of those calling for China’s removal from the UNSC are Indians, clearly a result of the Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.”
When non-WHO member Taiwan, reached out for support from other countries for gaining membership in the World Health Organization, the countries who pledged support to Taiwan were shunned and threatened by China since it considers Taiwan to be one of its provinces.
People all across the globe are calling China out for its human rights violations. In August 2018, a human rights committee was provided with credible reports of China turning ” the Uighur autonomous region into something that resembles a massive internment camp”
In 2018, Human Rights Watch revealed details about the Chinese government’s mass arbitrary detention, forced political indoctrination, torture, and mass surveillance of Uighur Muslims.
According to HRW, people were being detained for reasons like: “His wife wore veils.” “He has one more child than allowed by the family planning policy.” “He prayed after each meal.”
More than a million people are detained and are forced to eat pork, drink, and pledge alliance to Xi JinPing.
The Human Rights Watch also slammed China for its treatment of Africans and discrimination against them in its Guangzhou Province.
Economically, the United States, Japan, and India have started to distance themselves from China.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has asked American firms to leave China.
Meanwhile, India has banned 59 of China’s apps and has tightened its foreign investment rules.
The US has also extended its ban on Huawei for another year and is asking allies to keep a check on Chinese Tech Giants.
Japan has set up a 2.2 billion dollar fund to help pull away from its companies from China.
In its expansionist mind-set, China does not keep its relations with its neighbours ideal either.
Protests in Hong Kong have been going on for about a year against plans to allow extradition to mainland China.
Because of its increased naval and military presence in the South China Sea during the pandemic, and the territorial disputes over the Spratly Islands and Parcel Islands in the middle of the South China Sea, China does not have strong relations with its neighbours Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, and Brunei either.
China’s border disputes with Bhutan which was initially confined to Central and Western sectors is now expanding to the Eastern sector as well.
China is now claiming the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary which adjoins the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, as its territory. Since Bhutan is a close ally of India it does not have diplomatic ties with China. Many now claim that the move to claim Bhutan’s Eastern Sector was a bid to put pressure on India.
Even though the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in India has said, that the boundary between Bhutan and China is under negotiation and has not been demarcated, this power-flex comes off as a shock to India, which fears another dispute with China in the case of Arunachal Pradesh, after the LAC face-off in Ladakh which happened not even a month ago. According to Hindustan Times, India was backed by several countries including the US, UK, France, Australia, and Japan, in its border stand-off with China.
China’s unpopularity is not limited to countries and their governments anymore.
In April 2020, an internal report circulated by the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a government-affiliated think tank associated with China’s top intelligence agency, concluded that “global anti-China sentiment is at its highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.”
With the world standing against China, it’s not hard to see whether its authoritarian regime will fall or not.
India’s trade deficit with China sinks to $48.66 billion in 2019-2020 which is lowest in five years. Now what is the trade deficit? Trade deficit can be defined as an amount of imports of a particular country exceeding the amount of its exports. According to the data, exports to China in the last financial year stood at $16.6 billion, while imports accumulated at $65.26 billion. India and China are two very well-known countries with ancient Civilizations, their partnership in every major field like trades has made an ideal example since over 2000 years. But from the last few weeks the India- China relation has deteriorated. The main cause of the clash was a dispute over the sovereignty of the widely separated Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh border regions. So, it can be assumed that this clash played a vital role along with lower imports and higher exports as the major cause of India’s significant reduction of trade deficit.
(Source: Times of India.)
The major imports from China cover electronic gadgets (clocks, watches, smart phones, calculator, laptop etc.) plastic materials (toys, plastic containers, bottles), sports goods, musical instruments, furniture, chemicals, irons, mineral source, metals and fertilizers.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from China in India fell to $163.78 billion in 2019-2020 from $229 billion in previous monetary, the data said. 14% India’s imports are recorded by China and the major portion comes from critical pharma ingredients and telecom.
India was able to captivate FDI worth $2.38 billion from 2000 to March 2020 but in April the government has narrowed the standards for FDI coming from the neighboring countries especially which share a land border with India like China. As per FDI, any company or individual can steep in any field with the government approval.
Top sectors like metallurgical (USD 199.28 million), services (USD 170.18 million), electrical equipment (USD 185.33 million) which showed maximum FDI from China in the period of April 2000- March 2020.
Around 371 products have been identified for technical regulations. Out of 371, technical regulations have been assigned for 150 products worth $47 billion of imports.
The reduced imports from China also helped the U.S. extend its lead as India’s largest training partner against trade off $88.8 billion with US India straight with China was just $82 billion. 2019-2020 year’s trade deficit of India is almost similar to 2014-15, when the Narendra Modi took first post, but it was 34% higher than 2013-14, stimulating the government to suggest that the further steps taken in recent months have yielded results.
In that definite time when entire world has been put off financially due Corona virus pandemic accompanied by India-China war; in the standing of that point taking such steps like restricting the imports from China would be a great decision for India.
The Country and countrymen both are hopeful, at the same, of time what lies ahead in future.
“A large chunk of these originate from China. We will pursue import substitution,” a senior official said.
On 29th June 2020, the Indian government issued a ban on 59 Chinese Apps including, TikTok, WeChat, Xender, ShareIt, LIKEE, Helo, and CamScanner among others.
This ban has been implemented after a deadly clash between the militaries of both the countries that left twenty Indian soldiers dead. Satellite images also show that China has built new structures near the border region.
The Ministry Of Information And Technology, has stated that, “ it has received many complaints from various sources including several reports about misuse of some mobile apps… for stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.. Since this ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures”
But it raises concerns beyond stealing of Users’ data. If Users’ data being safe was the only concern then why didn’t they ban the Zoom App – An app founded by Chinese-American billionaire, Eric Yuan. Despite being accused of stealing data and various privacy concerns, numerous times, all the app has been given are mere warnings. An Article on News18, says that since Zoom is an American company, located in California, it wasn’t banned.
But doesn’t it go against the statements given by the Ministry Of Information and Technology, which basically said, that they banned the apps because users’ data was being ‘misused’ ?
It proves that the ‘ban’ was supposed to be a “fitting” reply to China, as border tensions escalated, and wasn’t just a security concern.
Which brings us to two questions :
Was India in a position to Ban Chinese Apps?
Most of the apps banned were highly popular in India. Topping the list was TikTok with over 100 million users just in India.
While many “TikTok stars” used the app to earn a living, there were several others who just liked having access to make content.
What made TikTok connect to its users was the fact that how easy it was to handle and to make content, which is why people who couldn’t create content on other platforms like YouTube because of the complications and the investments, could easily create content here.
TikTok really seemed to connect with the Indian Youth because many still are accessing it via VPNs.
While companies like Panda VPN are even advertising the fact that you can access all the banned apps via using them.
Many teens are trying to make apps to access TikTok without VPNs and they are very confidently posting their videos on social media.
The fact that people can still access these apps through VPNs while Chinese investors continue to profit off our people, shows how this ban was nothing more than ”a symbolic ban’.
The ban wouldn’t harm the Chinese as much as it will harm us.
Most of these apps had Indian Creators for whom this was their only source of income. Not to mention, many of these apps have offices and employees in India, whose jobs are at stake.
With the rising unemployment, and the falling GDP, was it really necessary to put thousands of jobs and lives at risk, in the middle of a pandemic? Was symbolism really this important?
2. Is banning Chinese Apps enough ?
“Tokenism does not change stereotypes of social systems but works to preserve them, since it dulls the revolutionary impulse.”
– Mary Daly
A week ago, we were furious at our government, for the border situation with both China, and Nepal.
And for once, we expected the Modi government to do something. Because isn’t that what they have been flexing about all those years, with the Balakot Airstrike, or the Surgical Strike? A nation with Strong Military strength?
Instead, we were deceived by various media houses, and our government, who mentioned for weeks that there are no border tensions between India and China.
Instead, we were met with disappointment, as the Prime Minister himself turned his back on us, when he released a public statement saying that there has been “no Chinese intrusion” into our territory. That statement was used by the Chinese Government to shake off any responsibility about the death of twenty Indian soldiers.
Soon after receiving heavy backlash, the government released a statement that practically said “The Prime Minister didn’t mean what you thought he meant”. The video which was available on YouTube was of course edited, and the part where Mr. Modi said how there were no Chinese Intrusions was removed. Channels like AajTak, blamed the army, instead of the government.
I wish it stopped here, but it didn’t. Our government said almost 43 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured, to satisfy India’s collective blood-thirst, when no such number was revealed or verified from the other side. Which makes me wonder if soldiers are just numbers for this country?
Like in a game of Chess, you just count the number of pieces you killed of your opponent. And if it’s more than the number of pieces he killed, then you’re satisfied.
I wonder if our soldiers are nothing more than Chess Pieces to us.
I wonder if their death will ever mean something more than ‘revenge’.
The government also said that no Indian Soldiers were captured.
The next day though, China released 10 of our soldiers.
I wonder how the government would have explained the disappearances of these ten soldiers to their families had they not been released by the Chinese Government.
How do we trust a government that has deceived us at every given turn? How do we trust a government that takes the Army’s credit after a Surgical Strike to increase their polling numbers, but blames the Army for their failures?
And after all this, they decided to temporarily ban some Chinese apps.
I wonder why AliBaba wasn’t banned, or PUBG which is backed by Tencent?
As you might already have guessed, AliBaba is one of the biggest investors in the Indian market, and so is Tencent.
The act of banning Chinese Apps was nothing more than Tokenism. But look how well it has worked, no one is blaming the government for literally anything anymore. Not the diesel-petrol price hike. Not even the lack of response to China.
At the end of the day, you just have to ask yourself this, “has this all happened before”?
Have the bans happened before? In a different or similar context? With a different or same nation?
And if your answer is yes, I have a question for you. “When has it changed anything but our opinions?”