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Indian think tank reveals depth of Chinese influence operations in world's largest democracy

Expert says Bollywood compromises on Chinese territorial claims just as Hollywood does

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Front page of report. (Law and Society Alliance photo)

Front page of report. (Law and Society Alliance photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new report has revealed the extent of China's influence operations in India, describing the key tactics adopted by Chinese intelligence services and government agencies who have infiltrated various Indian industries, from entertainment to academia.

The 76-page report, “Mapping Chinese Footprints and Influence Operations in India” was released on Friday (Sept. 3) by New Delhi-based think tank the Law and Society Alliance, which held a webinar the same day to discuss its findings, according to an Asian News International report.

From strategic investments in the entertainment sector to the spread of propaganda through its Confucius Institutes, Beijing is using every play available to make inroads into the Indian economy and society, per the report.

Several China experts discussed how the country has bought support for itself within academia, think tanks, media, trade bodies, tech companies, Bollywood, and political parties to influence Indian public opinion and destabilize the nation from within.

Sheng Xue (盛雪), Canadian journalist and co-founder of the Canadian Coalition Against Communism, said the report shows how China's fifth column operations are harming Indian interests, but she pointed out there are vigilant Indians standing up against this trend.

She said that the report is a wake-up call for democracies around the world, including Canada, who are facing similar subversive threats.

Aarti Tikoo, chief editor of The New Indian, likened the effectiveness of the CCP’s propaganda in India today to how the British controlled the public narrative during the colonial period. Tikoo says Bollywood producers today willingly concede Tibet to be a part of China to safeguard funding for films, just as Hollywood has been compromised in recent years.

Over the last 30 years, the CCP has invested in almost all major Indian companies, making them in some shape or form subservient to Beijing’s whims, Tikoo said.

“China continues to take bolder steps to erode India’s democracy and is also subtly influencing Afghan policies through its support of Pakistani and Afghan extremists,” said Ilshal Kokbore, director of Chinese Affairs at the World Uyghur Congress.

Kokbore said the report reminded him of Uyghur history, citing how the CCP had occupied East Turkestan (Xinjiang) under the guise of developmental assistance but is now running concentration camps in the region.

Kalden Tsomo, the Tibet Bureau’s United Nations advocacy officer, said India has been wrong just like other democratic nations in making the assumption China would become more liberal after it opened its economy. World leaders have stayed quiet about China’s aggressive actions for too long, she added.


Updated : 2021-09-22 08:29 GMT+08:00