Beijing: China today voiced “serious concern” to India over its blanket ban on importing Chinese toys, asking New Delhi to show “prudence”, since its intensive use of trade remedies could pose a “serious threat” to booming bilateral trade ties.
“China hoped that India could show prudence and restraint in using trade remedies in the face of the global economic situation, as it could pose a threat to bilateral trade,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MoC) said in a statement.
The statement came after Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Zhong Shan met Indian Ambassador to China Nirupama Rao here on 3 February here on the issue.
Expressing “serious concern” over India’s intensive trade probes, the ministry said it hopes to avoid substantial impacts on bilateral trade.
On 23 January, India announced a six-month ban on all imports of Chinese-made toys.
The Indian commerce ministry has alerted the customs authorities to ensure that Chinese toys do not enter the Indian ports through a third-country route. Prohibition shall be applicable on all such toys that have originated from China, irrespective of the country of import.
“Originated shall mean manufactured in China,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a directive to all commissioners of customs and the licensing authorities.
Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath had said that the ban on Chinese toys was on grounds of public health and safety and the action was in consonance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
MoC Spokesman Yao Jian said that during the bilateral consultation with Rao, Zhong expressed China’s concern on the issue and said it hoped to ease trade friction through discussion at both governmental and industry levels.
Toy imports from China each year accounted for more than 50% of the retail market in India, with an estimated value of more than $500 million in 2007, according to the All India Toy Manufacturers Association.
India launched 17 trade investigations into Chinese- made goods since October last year, involving products worth $1.5 billion. These included sodium nitrite, sodium carbonate and tyre, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
Trade between China and its 10th largest trade partner, India, was up 34% at $51.78 billion last year, it said.