China’s growing infiltration into the Indian education sector

(Retd.) Brigadier Hemant Mahajan

China is infiltrating the Indian education institutions and trying to change the thought process of the students, professors and non-teaching staff. Therefore, they will interact, think and act like the Communist Party of China. China has opened ‘Chinese Confucius Institute’ centres in different countries. Confucius was a Chinese philosopher. The centres named after him are said to provide information on China, the Chinese language and the Chinese culture. Even if this is the stated purpose, these centres have been set up for propaganda war. Through them, they try to alter the mindset of the people. There are 55 such institutions in India and India’s neighbouring countries. In this article, we will look at what they do and how to protect ourselves from them.

1. China’s infiltration in educational institutions in England

A. Population growth rate in England is declining day-by-day. Since their birth rate is lower than their mortality rate, the number of newborns is lower. Therefore, people from different countries are issued visas to work there. Just like other countries, the economy of England is also affected badly due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, their educational institutions are closing down. Taking undue advantage of this situation, China is buying those institutions. China has passed a law in 2018, which has made it mandatory for Chinese citizens to spy on foreign countries. As a result, the Chinese citizens can spy wherever they stay. China has retained the names of these British institutions. Through them, China has started a psychological war. It will take some time for the natives of England to change, but China has initiated the process.

B. Prestigious educational institutions of England have presence in other countries as well. For example, one of the educational institutions of England, ‘Oxford’, has branches in many countries. Although the names of such institutions are British, the management, the thought process and teaching methods will be Chinese. In this way, China is infiltrating countries in Africa and Asia through a third country. Prima facie, the name will be British; but, they will operate completely in a Chinese way. Through this, China is trying to alter the minds and intellect of the people in those countries.

C. The good thing is that the British intelligence agency has submitted a report to their Government on this issue. Since then, their Government has become alert and has started investigating such institutions. However, given Britain’s fragile economic situation, it is doubtful if it will take a hard stand against China.

 2. China’s infiltration of educational institutions in various countries of the world

Similar infiltrations were made by China in Australia and European countries. Now, these Chinese institutions will try to change the mindset of people by infiltrating in Africa and Asia. All countries know about this. It is because of this, that they have started thinking of closing down these Chinese institutions.

The ‘Chinese Confucius Institute’ is a large institution in China. It is teaching the Chinese language and providing information on China and Chinese culture. Prima facie, these things sound good. In reality, these centres have been set up to carry out intelligence operations. They will carry out psychological or propaganda war from these places. The world is unhappy about this. Time will tell us how they are going to control this.

3. India needs to provide financial assistance to African countries to curb Chinese infiltration in Africa

China has made educational inroads into various countries in the African continent. Today, India is also doing well through educational institutions there. India is providing many good courses Online in Africa. Using money power, China buys small and poor countries in Asia and Africa, and implements policies favourable to China. Surprisingly, in Tanzania, they have made the Chinese language compulsory for everyone. In some countries, the Chinese language is their second language. People in those countries are learning Chinese only for money. Thus, China’s influence is growing there. China is buying Africa’s mineral wealth at cheaper rates.

The influx of Chinese goods into African markets has increased significantly. We need to provide financial assistance to African countries to curb China’s infiltration. Quadrilateral Co-operation consists of India, USA, Australia and Japan. We should try to match Chinese investment with the help of these countries. Apart from this, China has also made educational infiltrations in some Asian countries. They also need to be apprised that this has an extremely harmful result.

 4. China’s educational infiltration into India must be stopped

China has also infiltrated India in the education sector as stated earlier. India has banned Chinese Apps; similarly, efforts have also been made to stop China’s educational infiltration. As far as I know, India is taking steps to close such Confucius centres of China. Now, these Chinese institutions will not be able to wage a propaganda war. However, these institutions are allowed to teach the Chinese language. India should revoke permission to them.

The Chinese people living in India with this purpose do less of teaching and more of waging a psychological war by brainwashing the Indian youth. Such things affect India’s security. Hopefully, in the near future, the Government of India will try to stop this as well.

– (Retd.) Brigadier Hemant Mahajan, Pune.