(Sub-heading in online version) US media: India’s move may cause further tension in Sino-Indian relations
Bloomberg reported on the 13th, quoting unnamed sources, that India’s state-owned oil companies have been barred from hiring of Chinese tankers to transport crude oil and petroleum products. This is another measure adopted by the Indian side towards China in the economic field since the Sino-Indian border standoff.Tankers flying the Chinese flag or owned by the Chinese side have been barred from participating in transportation business in India’s crude oil import and exports of refined petroleum products, the report said. The sources also revealed that India’s large state-owned energy companies plan to ask crude oil traders and suppliers not to use Chinese-owned tankers to ship cargoes to India. According to reports, while the Indian move could lead to further tensions between China and India, Indian oil companies do not believe that the said ban will have a significant impact on India’s energy trade.Two unnamed Indian oil company executives said that most of the foreign tankers used by Indian companies to transport oil products are of Liberian, Panamanian and Mauritian nationality, and the use of Chinese tankers is limited mainly to transport liquefied natural gas. The three Indian state-owned energy giants, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, had no comment on the Bloomberg report.
Last month, India’s Ministry of Finance announced that for national security reasons, it would impose restrictions on all bidders from countries that share a land border with India. Although this restriction does not name specific countries, it is generally believed that it is aimed at companies from China and Pakistan. According to Bloomberg analysis, India’s ban on Chinese tankers from participating in Indian oil imports and exports is similar to the ban on government procurement bids issued last month. Specifically, the ban on Chinese companies is mainly implemented in the Indian government and state-owned enterprises, and does not cover the private sector.