India-China trade grows to record USD 125 billion in 2021 despite border tensions

Medical product imports, API for Pharma the main reason for the spike in imports from China

Medical product imports, API for Pharma the main reason for the spike in imports from China
Medical product imports, API for Pharma the main reason for the spike in imports from China

Deficit mounts to USD 69 billion

The India-China bilateral trade touched a record high of over USD 125 billion in 2021, crossing the USD 100 billion mark in a year when the relations hit a new low due to the prolonged standoff by the militaries in eastern Ladakh, while India’s trade deficit too mounted to over USD 69 billion. The total trade between China and India in 2021 stood at USD 125.66 billion, up by 43.3 percent from 2020, state-run Global Times reported, quoting data from the General Administration of Customs.

China’s exports to India from January to December rose 46.2 percent to USD 97.52 billion, while India’s exports to China grew by 34.2 percent to USD 28.14 billion. The trade deficit for India grew to USD 69.38 billion in 2021. India has been highlighting its concerns over the growing trade deficit with China for over a decade and calling on Beijing to open its markets for India’s IT and pharmaceutical products.

Observers say much of China’s exports increase this year to India was attributed to the import of medical products and raw materials for India’s burgeoning pharmaceutical industry due to the massive second wave of COVID-19 and recurring bouts of the virus in the country. The landmark increase of the bilateral trade crossing USD 100 billion went without much fanfare as the relations remained frosty over the lingering military standoff in eastern Ladakh.

The two sides held the 14th round of Corps Commander-level talks on January 12 to resolve the standoff in the remaining areas and agreed to hold a new round of talks soon. Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the mountainous sector. Reading of the joint statement issued by both countries shows that no solutions evolved in the 14th military-level talks.[1]

[with PTI inputs]


[1] India-China 14th military level talks fails to achieve breakthrough to ease tensions on the border. Agree to meet againJan 13, 2022,

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  1. The Chinese have nothing to gain from attacking or having a war with India, other than a bloody nose and loss of face worldwide. They keep the tension on the borders which is good for us, over last few years we have suddenly come of our own in terms of infrastructure and defense preparedness, both largely home made giving boost to economy. For the Chinese the 125 Billion trade is more profitable than the war, they may be arrogant but they are not stupid. First they tried to dominate us with money tryin to rope us into their fancy project when that did not work it was the border without realizing we too had come a long way from 1962.


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