New Delhi– Reacting to current attempts for boycott of Chinese goods in India, the Chinese embassy here on Thursday said such actions will not only hurt the sale of Chinese goods but also hit consumers here.

“In the long run, boycott will not only hurt Chinese goods sale, but also cause negative impact on the consumers in India,” a Chinese embassy statement said.

“Without proper substitutes, the biggest losers of the boycott of Chinese goods will be Indian traders and consumers,” Counsellor Xie Liyan said in the statement posted on the embassy website.

Citing media reports about the traders of the capital’s wholesale market Sadar Bazaar complaining about a 20 per cent drop in sale of Chinese goods, the statement said: “The boycott effect will not be limited to Diwali-related products, but will extend to other Chinese products that are not related to the festival.”

“Chinese products not only lowered India’s inflation rate, but also fulfilled Indian ordinary people’s, especially the low-income people’s, aspirations and greatly improved their life quality.”

The statement noted that China-India trade cooperation has deepened over the years.

“Bilateral trade has grown 24 times in 15 years, from $2.9 billion in 2000 to $71.6 billion in 2015,” it said.

China has become India’s largest trading partner, source of imports and fourth largest export market, it added.

Calls for boycott of China-made goods in India gathered momentum following China’s opposition to a United Nations ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.

Indian Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said earlier this month that blanket ban on import of Chinese goods, as being demanded by some sections in India, is not a feasible option.

“Just because we may not like certain things about a country is not reason enough to block imports from that country. We could impose anti-dumping duties, but there are established ways to go about it and dumping has to be proved,” she told reporters here responding to a query on curbs on imports from China.

“Curbs can only be placed if there are quality issues or if the imports are subsidised or dumped. Anti-dumping duties are levied on particular items, on certain tariff lines … they cannot be levied across the board,” she added.

In her bilateral talks with Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce and Finance Wang Shouwen here earlier this month, Sitharaman said she raised concerns about India’s growing trade deficit with China.

“Several issues have remained unresolved since I assumed charge in June 2014. I raised the issue of the difficulties faced by the Indian IT companies in China with project approvals with the Chinese minister.

“Our pharma companies, for instance, have been recognised by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the European Union (EU). Why is it then that the permission from China is taking so long,” Sitharaman said.

She said that the talks had been positive.

“The Chinese minister assured that he will come back to us on the matter, expeditiously. My impression is that they will come back to us sooner. The trade imbalance issue will addressed,” she said.

An Indian commerce ministry release said Wang assured that China would act on the concerns expressed by India regarding market access for Indian goods, and said that recently China has quickened the pace of granting clearances to Indian pharmaceutical companies.

In 2015-16, India’s exports to China were $9 billion (nearly Rs 59,874.8 crore), imports were $61.7 billion (nearly Rs 4,10,474.7 crore), leaving a trade deficit of $52.7 billion (nearly Rs 3,50,599.9 crore).