Why is China worried after Narendra Modi government amended 49 year old Enemy Property Act!

Since the time Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of India, the world doesn’t see India as a week country. It was quiet apparent when the Doklam issue was at its peak last year and how India managed to send back Chinese troops.

Be it economical issue or military issue, India is no more depicted as a weak country and this is exactly why countries like China and Pakistan will have to think hundred times before they take any decision that can upset India. Recently the Modi government amended the 49 year old Enemy Property Act which scrapped many old clauses and inducted various amendments. According to this Act, Indian government can now confiscate more than 9400 properties in India of those who took citizenship of China/Pakistan.

Yes, these properties are spread in many regions of India whose value is estimated to cross over hundreds thousand crores. Apart from this, Chinese investment in India has multiplied in the last 10 years, while many of the Chinese companies have established their work here, larger part of Chinese economy in dependent on Indian markets. So, the big worry for China is, in case if India and China gets into military conflicts, India may confiscate all Chinese companies like Xiaomi and Lenovo which are worth million dollars.

This statement was given by none other than the Chinese news outlet Global Times. They stated that  “If China and India become involved in a military conflict, the assets of Chinese companies doing business in India may be confiscated by the Indian government.” It says economic reforms introduced by PM Modi have made India an attractive investment destination but the amended law can scare away Chinese investors.

The article in Global Times further stated, “if the Enemy Property Act sparks alarm among Chinese investors and hinders India’s efforts to make itself a sound investment destination, all these other attempts would have been in vain. To rebuild investor confidence, India requires legal reform. Confiscating assets left behind by people who took citizenship of China can easily be viewed by the public as a hostile act against China and damage China’s outbound investment toward India.”

“In recent years, many Chinese companies, including smartphone maker Xiaomi and computer producer Lenovo, have turned their eyes toward India. In 2016, China’s direct investment in India was reportedly several times the level of the previous year. This investment created many jobs for young people in India, which faces an unemployment dilemma. However, increasing investment doesn’t necessarily mean that Chinese companies were unaware of the risks involved. Some Chinese people were scared during  the border standoff. If India cannot reassure Chinese investors by taking steps to ensure the safety of their assets or personnel, the amendment of the Enemy Property Act will hit investor confidence.”  This article clearly indicated that China was jittery!

According to the data submitted to the parliament during the passage of the Enemy Property Act, there are 9,280 immovable properties belonging to Pakistani nationals encompassing 11,882 acres which was worth 1.04 Lakh crore. Movable vested properties consist of shares in 266 listed companies valued at Rs 2,610 crore; shares in 318 unlisted companies valued at Rs 24 crore; gold and jewellery worth Rs 0.4 crore; bank balances of Rs 177 crore; investment in government securities of Rs 150 crore and investment in fixed deposits of Rs 160 crore.

The immovable properties belonging to the Chinese Nationals were 149 which were in West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Delhi.

So, this is definitely not a small issue for the Chinese who are worried about the new Bill passed in the Parliament. They now want to carefully handle issues with India which otherwise may turn to be a massive loss for the Chinese companies and their people. Definitely Modi government needs an applause for picking up small issues but creating a big impact with it.


Aishwarya S