For decades, India has been often hyphenated with its arch-enemy Pakistan, with which it has fought four wars and has an active border. The other neighbour that shares a large border with the country, China, was hardly put in the category of arch-enemy or hyphenated with India due to many politico-economic reasons. However, in the last few months, China and Pakistan both have been categorized as arch-enemies and the Modi government is taking one step after another to corner China, just like it did with Pakistan in the first term.
In the latest move, the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to put more restrictions and scrutiny on visas to Chinese businessmen, academics, industry experts and advocacy groups, and will also review the Memorandum of Understanding signed by various universities with Beijing. This puts China in the same league as Pakistan as all these measures are imposed only on visas to Pakistani citizens.
The move came after Indian law enforcement authorities found that a Chinese spy named Luo Sang, alias Charlie Peng, paid bribes to Buddhist monks for spying Dalai Lama, Tibetan Dharmaguru who sought refuge in India 6 decades ago.
Many people in Majnu ka Tila, a Tibetan refugee colony in Delhi which is home to thousands of Buddhists, were paid bribes between 2 lakhs to 3 lakhs for passing on information about the Dalai Lama, whom China does not recognize as Dharmaguru and wants dead.
“Search action revealed that at the behest of Chinese individuals, more than 40 bank accounts were created in various dummy entities, entering into credits of more than 10 billion rupees (US$134 million) over the period,” said the authorities.
At a time when the global community is busy fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party is spying on Tibetan Dharmaguru. This shows that Chinese and its citizens cannot be trusted without scrutiny because any person coming under the garb of a businessman or a student might be an agent of the Chinese Communist Party.
Therefore, the government decided to impose restrictions on visas to the Chinese citizens, just like on those from Pakistan. Moreover, the Ministry of External Affairs will also look into MoU signed with China by 54 universities of the country. Many of these universities run Hanban, the official Chinese language training office, which runs Confucius Institutes in various countries.
9 universities which run such courses with Chinese money are already under the scanner of the government. China tries to brainwash the students through courses taught in these Confucius centres and tries to create agents or sympathisers to project its soft power in other countries.
Since the death of the soldiers in Galwan valley, the Modi government has taken many steps one after another to corner China globally and throw Chinese companies out of the Indian supply chain.
“These and other steps that have been taken over the last few weeks are designed to decrease Indian over-dependence on China and reduce the exposure or vulnerability of various sectors to direct and indirect Chinese state influence,” said Tanvi Madan, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Brookings Institute.
PM Modi gave China two chances– Wuhan summit and Chennai summit– to resolve all the issues and go ahead on a fresh note. However, China has kept behaving in a similar manner that it used to and activated the Line of Actual Control more than ever. Therefore, the Modi government has now decided to give a jolt to China. On the economic front, China is set to lose exports worth more than 50 billion dollars and penetrations to the flourishing Indian market while on the security front, India, Japan, Australia and the United States formed QUAD to corner China in Indo-Pacific reason.