India halts 3 business deals with China after border clash

Indian's Maharashtra suspends US$658 million in deals with China after border brawl

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Tibetan activist in exile holds banner during street demonstration.

Tibetan activist in exile holds banner during street demonstration. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — India has put the brakes on over US$600 million worth of business deals with Chinese firms after the bloody clash between Chinese and Indian troops that took place last week.

On June 16, a melee broke out between Indian and Chinese troops on a disputed stretch of border in the Ladakh region, with the Indian side suffering 20 dead and the PLA counting at least 35 slain, including a commanding officer. Outraged, Indians have taken to the streets calling for a boycott of Chinese goods, putting China's coveted share of India's smartphone market and 5G rollout in jeopardy.

In response, the industries minister of the western Indian state of Maharashtra, Subhash Desai, on Monday (June 22) announced that the state is putting a hold on US$658 million worth of agreements with three Chinese companies, reported WION. The most lucrative of these is a US$500 million investment agreement with Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor Co. to build a passenger car factory in India.

The other two deals include an agreement between China’s Beiqi Foton Motor Co. (Foton) and PMI Electro Mobility Solutions to build a bus factory in Talegaon as well as investment from Chinese industrial manufacturer Hengli Engineering that would create 150 jobs.

Desai said that the suspension is temporary and could be resumed, depending on the stance of the Modi government on such trade deals with the communist country. "We will wait for the central government to announce a clear policy regarding these projects in the current environment," Mint quoted him as saying.

The incident has been a major public relations fiasco for Beijing, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has entered damage control mode, deleting the incident from state-run media and social media sites. Since the incident, India's Ministry of External Affairs has advised all states not to sign any new deals with Chinese firms.