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India claims not taking aim at China with new power grid investment restrictions

By Shan Xin  (People's Daily Online)    18:31, August 18, 2017

(File Photo)

An Indian official said on Thursday that India has no plans to single out Chinese investment proposals in the country, according to India’s Mint Newspaper.

“Putting a hold on the security clearance given to Chinese investment proposals is not under any consideration,” he said.

India was said to be considering new restrictions against Chinese investments on power grids and telecoms for its suspicion of Chinese motives in the region, according to Reuters on Thursday.

Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was said to draft the policy that set up certain conditions businesses bidding for power transmission contracts, such as only allowing access to companies that have operated in the country for at least 10 years and have Indians in top positions. Employees are also required to have a certain period of residency in India.

The power grids of 18 cities in India are managed by Chinese power businesses, including Harbin Electric, Dongfang Electronics, Shanghai Electric, and Beijing Sifang Automation. Local companies are opposed to Chinese involvement in power sectors and have raised security concerns and complained about restricted access to Chinese markets.

“The current investment regime makes a ‘punching bag’ of India, whereby if you want, you can come and invest in India and earn, and Indian companies cannot come and earn in your country,” Indian power minister Piyush Goyal was quoted as saying in a report by Financial Times in May.

Reuters said China not specifically mentioned in the new policy but analysts say China would be most affected by such a move.

A representative of a Chinese enterprise engaged in exporting electric power equipment to India said India’s industry has long tried to block foreign competition under the garb of security, according to Global Times.

“Now, as Sino-Indian relations are getting intense, the old tune is on again. But in fact, it is unrealistic to completely ban China and India power investment cooperation. India will pay a huge price for this," the representative said.

Chinese companies have invested mostly in the telecom, power, engineering, and infrastructure sectors. Several Chinese companies have also shown an interest in setting up industrial parks in India.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shan Xin, Wu Chengliang)

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