India rethinks security nod to Chinese firms after Beijing veto on Masood

(From PTI)

The security establishment is considering a review of the liberalized investment regime being offered to Chinese investors after Beijing snubbed India by blocking its latest attempt to have Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar designated terrorist by the United Nations.

Masood Azhar.

Masood Azhar

Official sources said the establishment thinks security clearances given to Chinese companies should be reviewed after China’s action in the UN on India’s attempt in the wake of the terror strike at Pathankot airbase.

Investments from China, which was once considered “a country of concern”, have been offered red carpet welcome by the government to boost bilateral relations, especially after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh had visited the country.

However, Beijing’s latest action in the UN led to the re-thinking of China policy, especially while granting security clearance to investments from that country.

“The country of concern tag was removed from China. But the liberalized policy is not getting the desired results. There may be a re-thinking of the policy to grant security clearance to Chinese companies,” a source said.

The establishment feels China has shown insensitivity as far as core security national issues relating to India are concerned.

At least 25 Chinese companies were given security clearance by the government in the past two years for setting up industrial projects mostly in power, telecom, railways and infrastructure.

Among the Chinese companies which have invested in India in the past 15 years are Saic General Motors Investment Ltd, Beiqi Foton Motors Co Ltd, Tbea Sheyang Transformer Group Ltd, Cina Steel Corporation, Boasteel Resources Co Ltd, Gaungxi Liugong Machinery Co Ltd, Shanghai Hitachi Electrical Appliances C, Xiangfen County Hongda Group Cement & BL, Dongfang Electric Corporation Ltd and ZTE Corporation.

To give impetus to Make In India initiative, the home ministry gave security clearance to more than twice the number of fresh investment proposals coming from across the globe in 2015 compared with the previous year after conducting a national risk assessment.

As many as 1,744 industrial projects were given security clearance to companies belonging to different countries in 2015. In comparison, 815 investment proposals were cleared in 2014 and 712 proposals in 2013.

The huge jump in investment proposals getting the nod came after the home ministry issued policy guidelines for assessment of proposals for national security clearance on July 1, 2015.

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