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India slaps new curbs on visas, schools to stem China influence

Delhi: India is stepping up its curbs on Chinese activity in the country, adding extra scrutiny for visas and reviewing Beijing’s links with local universities, as relations between the two nations continue to nose-dive.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has been told that visas for Chinese businessmen, academics, industry experts and advocacy groups will need prior security clearance, said senior officials who asked not to be identified, citing rules for speaking to the media. The measures are similar to those that have long been employed with Pakistan, India’s neighbour and arch-rival, they said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit:AP

The activities of India universities with tie-ups to Chinese institutions are likely to be drastically scaled down, one official said. The government is reviewing 54 memoranda of understanding signed between educational institutions including the Indian Institutes of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and others with links to the official Chinese language training office, known as Hanban, which runs Confucius Institutes across the world.

With the exception of Mandarin language courses, tie-ups with Chinese institutions are likely to be discontinued, the officials said. The institutions are used to influence policy makers, think tanks, political parties, corporates and academics, they said.

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