The Chinese government has voiced “deep concerns” to India over the recent enforcement of visa rules following complaints from a number of Chinese companies based in India.
An estimated 25,000 unskilled and semi-skilled Chinese workers now employed in power generation and communication projects in India will have to leave the country following a tightening up of enforcement of visa rules.
India has, since July, cracked down on unskilled workers, who are currently employed on six-month business visas.
Regulations require unskilled expatriate workers to apply for employment visas. But as they are harder to obtain, many Chinese companies send their workers to work on short-term projects on business visas. New Delhi has said these workers would have to leave the country by October 31.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu on Tuesday called upon India “to provide convenience” for Chinese workers in applying for employment visas in accordance with an agreement the two countries signed on simplifying visa procedures.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it has received many complaints from Chinese companies based in India in recent weeks, who say they faced difficulties in obtaining employment visas. “We hope India will be considerate of the circumstances of Chinese firms there,” an official told the State-run China Daily newspaper.
Indian Ambassador to China S. Jaishankar said part of the problem was that Chinese companies were sending too much manpower to work on their projects in India, instead of employing local labour.
“I have personal experience in working with many of India’s other major economic partners, and I cannot recall their investments and projects requiring such large manpower support from home,” he said at a recent meeting of Chinese companies here, urging them to tailor their business models to suit local conditions. He also promised to speed up the visa issuing procedures.