The head of one of the country’s largest Indian-American groups told Breitbart News on Monday “made in America” should be a pivotal part of a growing movement for independence from the Chinese economy, a movement Indian and Tibetan activists rallied for in Times Square, New York, this weekend.
Protesters, organized by Indian-American and Tibetan-American groups, rallied in the heart of Manhattan on Friday calling for a global boycott of China, emphasizing the need for worldwide solidarity against China’s human rights atrocities and multiple illegal territorial claims against its neighbors.
According to the Times of India, the protest was organized by New York area community leaders Prem Bhandari and Jagdish Sewhani but joined by groups such as the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) and Students for a Free Tibet. Videos show protesters holding signs reading “Boycott Made in China” and “China Stop Crimes Against Humanity,” as well as calls for the Communist Party to respect the autonomy of Hong Kong and to stop occupying Tibet, which Beijing considers a province but native Tibetans largely consider a separate nation from Han territory.
USA: Members of the Indian-American community, Tibetan community and Taiwanese-American community stage a demonstration at Times Square in New York, against China. The protestors also demanded for the boycott of Chinese products. pic.twitter.com/dQDLEs0ZkF
— ANI (@ANI) July 4, 2020
Ankur Vaidya – the chairman of the FIA, the largest India diaspora non-profit in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area – told Breitbart News in a statement Monday that the group and its allies are working to encourage Americans to join the movement of economic independence against China for the greater good of mankind.
“It is growing movement and we want our fellow Americans to echo the sentiment,” Vaidya wrote. “We strongly believe there is a methodical traction being gained (by China) in their unstoppable greed to do whatever it takes to topple us.”
“Small community steps – which are being taken in India, Tibet – should be taken here of boycotting whatever we can and replace it first with made in America and/or with countries and value and respect our nation, our diversity, and the greatness of our country, the USA,” Vaidya said.
On Friday, participants echoed this sentiment of global unity against the Communist Party for a variety of reasons – not just for recent deadly aggression against India, but China’s sustained use of concentration camps to oppress Muslims, its occupation of Tibet, and its many territorial disputes in the South China Sea, which Beijing illegally claims in its entirety.
“When the world is battling against coronavirus for the last six months, the naked aggression of China against its neighbors and India is totally unacceptable,” Sewhani, one of the event organizers, told reporters at the protest. “China wants to dominate the world, China wants to destroy the USA, China wants to destroy India. But this time, for their aggression they have to pay a very, very heavy price.”
Sewhani urged the world to observe how China treats its own citizens as a testament to the Communist Party’s brutality.
“Now look at what has China done within their own country. They are suppressing Hong Kong. They have done ethnic cleansing of Tibetan and look at what they have done to Muslims,” Sewhani said. “The worst human rights [violation] ever happened in China.”
Dorjee Tseten, the executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, issued remarks of solidarity with India. The highest authority in Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, has lived for decades exiled in India as a result of Chinese persecution.
“We strongly condemn the Chinese military invasion on Indian soil. This most recent tragedy demonstrates China’s occupation of Tibet is a threat to India and global security,” Tseten said. “We have been telling China can never be trusted. As we extend our solidarity with India, we also call [on the] India government, [the] United States, and international community to stand with Tibet.”
“The Chinese Communist regime must be held accountable and world governments to take immediate multilateral action against Beijing’s authoritarian rule,” Tseten asserted.
The “boycott China” movement has been especially successful in India following a bloody military exchange reportedly prompted by Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers on their mutual border last month. Questioned by Indian soldiers on why they had erected a tent and appeared to be establishing a permanent position in Indian territory, the PLA soldiers attacked their Indian counterparts with rocks, sticks wrapped in barbed wire, and other rudimentary weapons, as the two governments had agreed not to allow the use of firearms on the disputed border.
Nearly two dozen Indian soldiers died in the Galwan Valley incident. China refuses to confirm its number of casualties, but Indian officials insist the Chinese suffered heavier casualties than the Indian military.
Apparently indicating this, China has reportedly began pulling out of the Ladakh region of India where the brawl occurred this weekend. But the “boycott China” movement, aided by the Indian government, as continued to gain steam. The Indian government banned 59 made-in-China mobile phone apps from use in the country in late June, including the highly popular TikTok app that the U.S. government reportedly launched a national security investigation into last year. Indian officials have also indicated a desire to prevent Chinese companies from participating in road projects in the country.
The government has largely responded to popular sentiment, not the other way around, calling for economic independence. Indian citizens began uploading videos of themselves to social media throwing away Chinese-made products at home. Many discarded Chinese mobile phones and other technology. Some burned communist dictator Xi Jinping in effigy.
China has largely responded to the movement with threats. Chinese state media referred to a boycott in June as “extremely dangerous for India, but admitted last week that the sustained boycott calls have “dealt a severe blow to the confidence of Chinese investors.” The Global Times propaganda outlet attempted to portray this as a concern for India, not China.