News and Views on Tibet

Chinese influence in India significant, experts warn

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Confucius Institute at Mumbai University in 2013 (Photo/Xinhua)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, Sept 14: A report by the Law and Society Alliance published on Sept. 3 revealed that China has been making significant advances into numerous Indian sectors including the educational field in the past few years. According to the 76-page report ‘Mapping Chinese Footprints and Influence Operation in India’, Chinese influence posed a great risk to Indian security and democracy.

The findings showed that India’s film world, social institutions, think-tanks, universities and tech industries have been impacted in the past years. “It is a combination of financial investments, whether in the entertainment industry, in the socio-political realm through Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government has been using every trick in its playbook to make in-roads into the Indian economy and society. This is being done in order to try and press forward its own selfish narrative and to create discord within the Indian society with regard to China’s actions and motives,” the report further stated.

The report also mentioned the Confucius Institute as a propaganda arm of Beijing, which has been widely criticized and shut down in the West. The infiltration into the intellectual space was also noted in the report through donations and proxies, and many university students reportedly travelled to China at the government’s expense.

The findings also accused China of using media for its propaganda tactics by subtly influencing the Indian population using social media and mobile applications. Three news apps in India, Dailyhunt, NewsDog and UC News have received major investments of several millions of US dollars from Chinese firms, according to the report.

The Chinese telecommunication giant, Huawei, has also been highlighted in the report as a controversial and powerful influence among Indian business leaders and communities. It also hinted at possible association with the Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M), which has mostly refrained from criticizing or rebuking the Chinese government.  

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