Amid the strained ties between the two Himalayan neighbours, a new report has revealed extend of China's influence in India and its hidden agenda in increasing its influence, which is aimed at making in-roads into the Indian economy and society. In a webinar organized on September 3, the Law and Society Alliance held a discussion to commemorate the release of its report titled 'Mapping Chinese Footprints and Influence Operations in India'.
The report tries to identify how deep and extensive the Chinese foothold in India is. The report identifies key elements and ways in which Chinese intelligence services and the Chinese government have assimilated them into various Indian industries from the entertainment industry to academia.
Besides highlighting the Indian industries and areas where China has over the years increased its influence is not enough, the report also touches upon Beijing's hidden agenda in increasing its influence in India.
Through a combination of financial investments as seen in the entertainment industry to spreading propaganda in the socio-political realm through Confucius Institutes, Beijing is using every play available to it to make in-roads into the Indian economy and society in order to try and advance its own selfish narrative and to create discord within the Indian society in regard to China's actions and motives.
"India's budding tech sector has also not been able to escape the clutches of China. Since 2015, China and Chinese firms have invested around USD 7 billion in the Indian tech sector. Coupled with a large number of acquisitions, Chinese companies have become major shareholders of some of India's biggest tech companies," the report states.
It also adds that Chinese influence over the years has slowly permeated into India's political environment as well.
"One of the examples highlighted by the Law and Society report is how the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has refrained from criticising or rebuking China."
The online event, where this new report was discussed, saw the participation of five speakers: Ilshat Kokbore, the Director of Chinese Affairs Department and member of the World Uyghur Congress; Sheng Xue, Co-Founder and Vice-President of the Canadian Coalition Against Communism; Enghebatu Togochog, Director of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre in the United States; Aarti Tikoo, the Founder-Editor of The New India and a strategic affairs analyst and MsKaldenTsomo, a UN advocacy officer with The Tibet Bureau based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The first speaker of the online event was Ilshat Kokbore, who was astounded to learn about the sheer amount of Chinese influence in India. He went on to add that the Chinese government was really adept at twisting reality and spreading propaganda.
Another speaker Sheng Xue stated that after reading the report she felt encouraged, that at least some Indian scholars were realizing the influence of China on Indian sectors. She added that she believes that every country in the world should try and come out with a report like this so as to know exactly the extent of Chinese influence in their nation.
Journalist Aarti Tikoo went on to add that 200-300 years ago the British influence on India was similar to the presence of Chinese influence on India today.
For the last 30 years, the world has been talking about US soft power and this has allowed the Chinese to slowly build up their own soft power capabilities. No one in the mainstream media talks about the ongoing genocide in Xinjiang or the plight of the Uyghurs, she added.
The fourth speaker at the webinar was Enghebatu Togochog. According to Togochog, he is one of the unlucky Mongolians that was born in Chinese occupied Southern Mongolia.
China first entered into Southern Mongolia in peace but over the years reduced it to a mere colony. He wishes for his homeland to serve as an example as to what happens to those who accept China's 'generosity'.
The last speaker in the webinar was Kalden Tsomo.
According to Kalden, the report has managed to powerfully capture how entrenched China is in India's important sectors.
Beijing is currently attempting to use its current economic might to challenge the prevailing world order.
(With inputs from ANI)