NEW DELHI: The rise in Chinese investments in India in 2015, though insignificant, is now spurring more government security reviews as in certain cases the extent of state ownership is not always clear.
The concerns are multiplied by the fact that China is aggressively pursuing investments in Pakistan and furthering its G2G policy — Gwadar to Guangdong — that moves through India’s heartland. As per an estimate, China’s total investment in India last year was $ 870 million, which is seen as a significant rise, though meager in comparison with countries such as Hong Kong.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) total Chinese investment between 2000 to 2014 was merely $897 million. But, this increase also comes with its own set of concerns as flagged by a government note. There are three major security concerns says NSCS — disruptions in critical infrastructure, management structure of Chinese companies and espionage.
Some Chinese companies blur the line between national and corporate interests, says a government note adding that investments by Chinese companies in sensitive locations and close to bordering areas was also a cause for concern.
And these security concerns are not just raised in the Indian security establishment. Sources said United States too is worried about a surge in Chinese investment and they have also launched stricter security audits for Chinese companies coming to US market.
“India wants China to take advantage of the ease of doing business and become a partner in its growth story, but at the same time security agencies want more caution in certain sectors that is sensitive from the country’s infrastructure point of view.”
“Chinese investment requires a delicate balancing act, involving security audits . We need investments in certain sectors and that is welcome, but some critical infrastructure has to be guarded, keeping invisible investment moving in India triggered by a planned design,” sources said.