New Delhi mulls several actions to limit China’s footprint in India
From limiting visas to minimizing youth exchanges and clamping down on the Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes, the government is working towards a series of measures against China
In a move to limit China’s soft power influence in India, China Study Group of the government is likely to recommend a series of punitive measures against Beijing funded programmes in institutes, colleges and universities, which otherwise don’t serve larger Indian interests.
From limiting visas to minimizing youth exchanges and clamping down on the Chinese-funded Confucius Institutes, the government is working towards a series of measures, Economic Times said in its report.
In 2018, India’s former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi had agreed on ten pillars of cooperation to enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges. It included cultural exchange, cooperation in films and television, museum administration and sports, exchanges between youths, cooperation in tourism, exchanges between states and cities, cooperation in traditional medicine, yoga and education.
Following the June 15 Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, all these could come to a halt as China is unwilling to restore the status quo ante in friction areas like Depsang Valley and Pangong Lake.
“Chinese language has been removed from the curriculum of Indian schools and the status of Confucius Institutes, which was on the radar for the last few years, is being reviewed. The institute, which was to be set up in JNU, never took shape following an adverse report against visiting Chinese nationals by the security establishment,” Economic Times said in its report.
The government could consider several counter measures to limit Chinese footprints and presence in India, both in areas of hard and soft power, said Srikanth Kondapalli, one of India’s leading experts on China.
As a punitive action, India has so far banned 59 Chinese apps, including the popular TikTok, imposed embargoes, and import of Chinese colour televisions and restricted Chinese investments in critical sectors. Moreover, New Delhi is considering additional measures to mount pressure on China to withdraw, even as it negotiates with Beijing disengagement along the LAC.