03:12 GMT05 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The unprecedented standoff between India and China in eastern Ladakh, has seen 20 Indian soldiers killed, including an officer. Several nationalist organisations are now seeking a ban on Chinese products, and the federal government has already blocked 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok.

    A day after the Indian government banned 59 mobile applications linked to China, news publishers in the country have asked the federal government to extend the ban to online news platforms and applications funded by Chinese companies.

    In a statement on Wednesday, the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) said it was important to ensure that biased information was not disseminated to Indian users. Pawan Agarwal, DNPA Chairman said, it was time for everyone to uphold India’s security and sovereignty.

    The outfit said in a statement that Beijing had practically blocked access to news and opinion from India, “None of the Indian websites can be opened in China even via a VPN (virtual private network).”

    On Wednesday federal minister Nitin Gadkari said, Chinese companies would not be allowed to participate in highway projects, including joint ventures. Gadkari is a senior minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s federal cabinet holding the portfolios of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The minister also made it clear that the government would not entertain Chinese investors in sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

    Several state governments have also cancelled or put on hold high-value infrastructure contracts with Chinese companies

    • Bihar state has cancelled two contracts for the construction of a new bridge in the state capital Patna, with Chinese investment.
    • Haryana state has cancelled contracts for the installation of pollution control equipment in two thermal power facilities by Chinese companies worth INR 7,800 million (approximately $103.26 million).
    • Maharashtra state has put on hold agreements with Chinese companies worth INR 5 billion (approximately $662 million) to set up two automobile manufacturing facilities.
    • The Federal Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry has torn up a contract worth INR 1.17 billion (approximately $155 million) for a regional rapid transit system from the national capital to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and given it to the second lowest bidder, a domestic major.
    • The Federal Railway Ministry has cancelled a four-year-old signalling-and-telecom contract worth INR 4710 million (approximately $62.36 million) given to a Chinese company.

    The federal government has introduced the “Country of Origin” tag for supplies to the government through its online portal Government e-Marketplace in a bid to discourage Chinese products.

    On Wednesday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi symbolically quit Chinese social media microblogging app Weibo.

    The 15 June standoff was the latest clash between India and China, which claims the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

    Both countries share a border from Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast to Sikkim in the centre and Ladakh, a northern federally administered territory.

    India and China have mostly land borders, but in Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh, the border passes through a lake. India controls the western portion of the 45 km long lake, while the rest is under Chinese control.

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    Tags:
    tensions, Narendra Modi, Ladakh region, Beijing, China, New Delhi, India
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