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Chinese expats comfortable in India despite rise in anti-Chinese sentiments, unwilling to leave

Chinese expats comfortable in India despite rise in anti-Chinese sentiments, unwilling to leave

Chinese expatriates living in India have not been impacted by the deteriorating bilateral relations between the two countries. Industry sources said that they have no urge to leave India even as relationship between two countries nosedived after China’s military aggression over the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

According to estimates, there were about 20,000 Chinese expats in India. However, many of them returned to China to observe their New Year’s festival in January. They could not return to India due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. In February, India suspended flights plying between the countries to avoid the spread of the disease. The Chinese expats, who did not return home and continue to live in India, have indicated that they face no problems here and are not in any mood to relocate.

“Living conditions, personal and political freedom are basic pillars in India and all expats including the Chinese understand that,” an analyst said.

In fact, two people IN spoke to said that the Chinese, working in various companies in India, are keen to resume work here.

“Many of the Chinese who had gone home for a vacation have been stuck there for months. They are keen to return to India as early as possible and resume work,” Sanjeev K. Ahuja, editor, Asian Community News (ACN), told IN.

Ahuja, whose work involves tracking the south-east Asian community in India, said that the recent backlash and the growing anti-Chinese sentiments within the country have had little impact on their morale.

Following the border clash, there has been an unprecedented rise in anti-China sentiments in India with citizens calling for a boycott of Chinese goods. On Thursday, the Delhi Hotels & Restaurant Owners Association (DHROA) announced that Chinese nationals would not be allowed to stay in budget hotels or guest houses.

India’s trade with mainland China and Hong Kong dropped by 7 per cent in 2019-20 to $109.76—the sharpest fall in the last seven years. From December 2019 to mid-March 2020, China’s economic activities had been badly impacted due to the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan. In 2018-19, trade between the two Asian giants grew by only 3.2 per cent after a huge increase of 22 per cent in the previous financial year.

Interestingly, there have been reports suggesting that many Chinese living in China are keen to relocate to other countries as conditions there remain uncertain with a second wave of Covid 19 hitting people. Besides, the dragon nation’s offensive with many other countries has also brought much flak to the Chinese Communist Party.

A senior executive engaged with a South Korean multinational added that India continues to remain a favorite spot for foreign companies.

“While many Indians feel that the government could have handled the coronavirus crisis better, the fact is that this is not related to India alone. It has impacted the world and therefore expats have taken it in a more positive and matter-of-fact manner,” the executive said on condition of anonymity..