Chinese companies operating in India should be alert and take steps to avoid being hit by anti- China sentiment following tension between the two nations over the border standoff in the Sikkim section, a leading official newspaper here warned today. An article in the Global Times called on Chinse firms to reduce their investments in India in view of the tension. Citing anti-China sentiment that prevailed in Vietnam in 2014 when several people were killed in riots after media reports said China fired water cannons at a Vietnamese vessel to frustrate moves by Hanoi to disturb China’s normal resource extraction in the disputed South China Sea, the article said violent attacks against Chinese interests may happen in India. “Violent attacks against Chinese personnel and companies may happen in India if the two countries see even small-scale military tension at the border,” it said. “Chinese companies operating in India need to be alert and take precautions to avoid being hit by anti-Chinese sentiment following tension on the border between the two countries.” Another article in the daily known for its nationalistic views tonight said, “many people believe Indian nationalism led to the country’s independence from British rule decades ago but now it is gradually evolving into an internal factor behind the anti-Chinese sentiment, which is fuelled by ethnic and religious factors.”
Quoting reports of Shiv Sena activists burning Chinese flag on the streets after China blocked India’s membership bid in the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), it said, “India’s territorial issues can much more easily stir up local people’s nationalistic feelings.” Chinese firms doing business in India, especially those in the retail and consumer electronics industries, should consider possible boycotts by Indian consumers and ensure the safety of Chinese workers, the article said. “Although India is a potential market, would-be investors from China should perhaps take a wait-and-see approach. In this context, new investment from China into India is likely to be reduced,” it said.
By 2015, the accumulated Chinese investment in India had reached $3.55 billion, and most of the Chinese firms doing business there saw a proportion of local employees of over 90 per cent, it said. “The fact that Indian troops recently crossed into Chinese territory will not necessarily lead to a withdrawal of Chinese firms from India, but New Delhi has to safeguard the security of Chinese-funded institutions against possible anti-China riots,” it said. In order to make itself a promised land for Chinese manufacturers, India needs to spare no effort to maintain the stability of its economic cooperation with China during this period of tension, “even if that is not an easy thing to do”, the article said.
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Since the standoff on June 6, when the People’s Liberation Army destroyed bunkers of the India Army claiming the area belonged to China, Chinese media have carried several pieces blaming India for escalating border tension and “reminding” the Indian Army about the 1962 war. Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.