India's sudden toughening of law enforcement toward Chinese might be a sign of rising anti-Chinese sentiment in the country, an expert warned on Thursday after several Chinese in India were recently detained or faced with fines.
According to a warning notice released by China's Embassy in India on Wednesday, several Chinese have been investigated, fined, detained and prosecuted by India's law enforcement authorities of late, adding that some alleged offenders were even put behind bars.
China should be watchful of India's sudden move of toughening law-enforcement against the Chinese community, as it may well be a sign of rising anti-Chinese sentiment in India, Wang Dehua, head of the Institute for South and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, told the Global Times.
Some overly opinionated Indian government officials are using the law-enforcement as a pretext to give innocent Chinese citizens in India a hard time, he warned.
The growing of anti-China sentiment in the nation may have stemmed from China's recent progress with its Belt and Road initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor along with enhanced military ties between China, Pakistan and Afganistan, Wang elaborated.
According to the notice of China's Embassy in India, Chinese citizens are recommended to not overstay their visa and be aware of its expiry date. And they should not conduct activities that are not in accordance with their visa type, or work in India illegally.
The notice also stressed that Chinese citizens should not visit foreigner-restricted areas designated by the local governments in India without approval by relevant authorities.
"Big Chinese firms in India are the most affected by the so-called investigations, as many of their employees are working here using a business visa, which is not the required legal working visa," Ah Mian, a former Chinese student who now works in New Delhi, told the Global Times on Thursday.
It's kind of a catch-22, as India issues only a small number of working visas, and the issuing process often takes a rather long time, so many are forced to work on their business visa, he explained.
Once serving as the head of the Chinese student union in India and having lived in the country for 10 years, Ah Mian also said it is not uncommon for some Chinese to get stuck in India as they did not realize when their visa expired. Some are unable to return to China before they complete the necessary paperwork and pay the fines, Ah Mian added.