News Brief

Visas For Chinese Nationals Plummet Post-Galwan Clash As India Focuses On Economic Security

Swarajya Staff

Jun 21, 2024, 05:30 PM | Updated 05:30 PM IST

The Galwan Valley memorial. (Twitter)
The Galwan Valley memorial. (Twitter)

The number of visas issued to Chinese nationals by India has seen a sharp decline since the border clash between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Galwan four years ago.

According to a report from Hindustan Times, around 2 lakh visas were issued to Chinese nationals in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic and the 15 June 2020 Galwan clash. This number has dropped to just 2,000 in 2024 after a thorough screening of Chinese investments in India.

In the past eight months, about 1,500 visas have been issued to Chinese nationals, with around 1,000 of these catering to the demands of the Indian electronics industry. An additional 1,000 visas are in the pipeline, primarily for the electronics sector, based on intensive screening.

20 Indian soldiers, including Colonel Santosh Babu, lost their lives at Galwan while resisting a PLA attempt to encroach on Indian territory in East Ladakh. An unspecified number of Chinese soldiers also perished in the skirmish.

Post-Galwan structural screening of Chinese investments revealed that Chinese telecommunication companies like Vivo were violating Indian laws and laundering funds to China to evade taxes.

While the Indian industry demands more visas for Chinese workers and technicians, the national security establishment, including economic ministries, maintains that visas will only be issued after thorough vetting to ensure compliance with travel conditions as unchecked issuance of visas could undermine India’s "Atmanirbhar Bharat" initiative and affect domestic manufacturing.

India-China bilateral relations have remained tense since the PLA's transgressions in May 2020. Despite multiple rounds of military and diplomatic talks, the PLA has yet to de-escalate from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and restore the status quo ante in East Ladakh.

Four years after Galwan, the Chinese military remains fully deployed in East Ladakh, backed by reserves from the hinterland.

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