This article originally appeared on VICE India
As tensions increase between China and India, and calls for a India-wide ban on Chinese goods and service get louder, the Delhi Hotel and Restaurant Owners’ Association (DHROA) has pledged to ban Chinese citizens from their hotels and restaurants. All due to an ongoing territorial dispute in the Galwan River valley.
China and India have been locked in a territorial dispute over the Galwan River valley since the 1960s. If you look at maps printed in China you'll see much of the valley runs within Chinese territory, while the reverse is true in India.
On June 17 this tension came to blows when a Chinese military deployment refused to leave the disputed valley, despite a previous de-escalation agreement. An ensuring squirmish resulted in the deaths of some 20 Indian military personnel. And now Indians in all sorts of industries are doing their bit to retaliate.
The DHROA claims to represent 3,000 budget hotels and guest houses in India’s capital. On June 25, following a meeting with an organisation called the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the association announced its new hardline stance on Chinese nationals. It's worth noting here that the CAIT carries significant influence, as it claims to represent almost 70 million traders and 40,000 trade associations across India.
“We requested hotel associations in India to boycott Chinese goods like cutlery, furniture and electronics, but this association took it a step further by promising to ban all Chinese nationals from booking rooms or tables at their restaurants,” Sandeep Khandelwal, the president of CAIT, told VICE. According to Khandelwal, an estimated 800,000 Chinese nationals visit India’s national capital Delhi every year.
Similar sentiment came from the DHROA’s President and General Secretary, Sandeep and Mahendra Gupta who wrote the following statement.
“In view of the nefarious activities of China, it has been decided that no Chinese will be accommodated in Delhi's hotels and guest houses from now onwards. Delhi has about 3,000 budget hotels and guest houses with about 75 thousand rooms,"
VICE reached out to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi for a statement but none was given before time of publication.
The past few weeks has also seen the Indian Government taking steps to be less reliant on its neighbour. On Tuesday, India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry mandated that the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal would require sellers to declare a country of origin when registering new products on the procurement platform. This is being seen as a move to discourage Indians from buying Chinese products.
Meanwhile, Chinese mobile companies that dominate the Indian market are facing the heat. While Chinese phone company Xiaomi tried to cover up their store with banners that declared “Made in India,” Oppo cancelled the live online launch of its flagship 5G handset in India on June 24.
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