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Indian groups urge boycott of China goods over Pakistan

Reuters NEW DELHI (Reuters) — An influential Hindu nationalist group and an Indian traders body called on Thursday for a boycott of Chinese goods, to slap Beijing for blocking a move to put a Pakistani militant leader on a U.N. terrorist list following a suicide attack last month.

Regarded by Pakistan as its most reliable friend, China has repeatedly thwarted efforts to implement U.N. sanctions against Masood Azhar, the founder of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the group that claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 40 paramilitary police in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents 70 million traders, said it would burn Chinese goods on March 19 to “teach a lesson” to China.

“The time has come when China should suffer due to its proximity with Pakistan,” CAIT said in a statement. “The CAIT has launched a national campaign to boycott Chinese goods among the trading community of the country, calling the traders not to sell or buy Chinese goods.”

The United States, Britain and France asked the Security Council’s Islamic State and Al-Qaida sanctions committee to subject the Jaish leader to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze.

But China placed a “technical hold” on the proposal, saying it needed more time to consider, using the same stalling tactic it has used in the past.

Mounting impatience with Beijing’s stance was evident on social media on Thursday as #BoycottChineseProducts was the second-highest trending hashtag on Twitter in India.

Similar campaigns in the past have proved ineffectual.

China is India’s second biggest trading partner. Chinese products — from mobile phones made by companies such as Xiaomi Inc. to toys — are ubiquitous in India and trade between the countries grew to nearly $90 billion in the year ending March 2018.

The leader of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch, the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu nationalist group with close ties to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also called for a boycott of Chinese goods.

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