India “cannot do anything” about its trade deficit with China because the country’s manufacturing sector cannot keep up with that of its neighbour’s, an opinion piece in the state-run Global Times said on Tuesday. The piece also called the move to boycott Chinese goods by some sections in India “rabble rousing”.

“India lacks infrastructure. The country still needs to build roads and highways to have proper connectivity across the length and breadth of the country,” the piece said. It further called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme an “impractical scheme”, and asked Chinese firms to manufacture their goods domestically instead. “In any case, Indian businessmen flock to China in large numbers to buy products from China and sell them in India,” it said.

The opinion in the state-run newspaper also accused Indian politicians of “courting the West instead of improving ties with China”. The piece comes over two weeks after many Bharatiya Janata Party leaders called for a boycott of Chinese goods because of Beijing blocking India’s bid at the United Nations to designate Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. India’s trade deficit narrowed to $8.11 billion (Rs 54,060 crore) in June 2016 compared to $10.82 billion (Rs 72,104 crore) in the same month last year.