Sino-India relations

Embassy warns Chinese in India to be vigilant

New Delhi consulate issues safety alert for nationals of China in country, which is involved in border dispute with Beijing and is facing domestic strife

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 July, 2017, 8:14pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2017, 8:50am

The embassy in New Delhi has issued a warning to Chinese nationals about their safety in India, which is facing violent protests at home and military tension with China.

Last week, a riot broke out between Hindu and Muslim families over a divisive Facebook post about a holy site in West Bengal, a state in eastern India, which led the government to send hundreds of paramilitary forces to the area to assist the local police.

On top of the domestic strife, India and China, the world’s top two emerging economies, were engulfed in perhaps their worst military stand-off in 30 years along a contested part of the border between China, India, and Bhutan in the Himalayas.

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The official alert, published on the embassy’s website on Friday, asked Chinese citizens in India and those travelling to the country to keep a close eye on local security situations, reduce unnecessary outdoor activities and abide by local laws and religious habits.

More than 170,000 Chinese travel to India every year. The embassy alert will be in effect for one month.

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Relations between China and India have soured in recent years, with India seeing China’s growing influence in South Asia as a threat to its own interests.

In particular, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan to seek economic and diplomatic influence with outbound investment, the “Belt and Road Initiative”, has angered New Delhi, which did not send representatives to a summit for the scheme in Beijing in May.

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Last month, when China started building a road in disputed territory also claimed by Bhutan, New Delhi sent Indian soldiers to a border town.

The stand-off is now in its third week, with each side deploying about 3,000 troops along the disputed frontier.

Xi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed several issues informally on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg on Friday.

On Saturday, Li Fan, a political counsellor from the Chinese embassy in India, told Phoenix TV that the security situation remained tense with little sign of it easing soon.