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Indian missions take precautions in staff hiring, says MEA after Shanghai ‘infiltration’ report – Defence News of India


SOURCE: THE PRINT

The Ministry of External Affairs Thursday said all Indian missions and posts abroad take due “precautions” while hiring local staff, in the wake of reports claiming that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had infiltrated the Indian embassy in Shanghai.

“We are not in a position to independently verify the data. In certain countries, the hiring of local staff requires the approval of local authorities. However, all missions and posts ensure due security precautions in this regard,” said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs.

A report by the The Indian Express Thursday said that at least seven branches of the CCP have made an “India connection“, implying espionage activities. The report was based on data shared by a source with an international consortium of journalists.

The report also said that a CCP member was hired by the Indian consulate in Shanghai using the services of a Chinese state-owned recruitment agency.

India had in September set up an expert committee to look into alleged snooping by Chinese firm Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co on Indian leaders. The external affairs ministry had then raised the matter with Sun Weidong, ambassador of China to India, and said it was a matter of “concern” that the Chinese firm was snooping on personal data of prominent Indians.

‘Communist Party of China members are not monsters’

Responding to the report, the Chinese embassy in India Thursday called it “ridiculous” and promoted by “anti-China” forces.

“Such allegation hyping up the ‘CPC infiltration’ is groundless out of ideological prejudice. The members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are not ‘monsters or scourges’. They are all ordinary human beings who serve the people with their hearts and souls. Is there really anything to be afraid of? It is absolutely ridiculous and wantonly smearing to maliciously label CPC members as ‘espionage’,” the embassy said.

The statement also said, “The CPC is the vanguard of the Chinese working class, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. Thanks to the CPC leadership, the Chinese people have achieved independence, freedom, liberation and great achievements in national development. The CPC is such a political party striving for the well-being of the Chinese people, the peace of the world and the progress of humanity.”

The Chinese government called the report arising out of an “ideological confrontation”.

“Hyping up the ‘China Threat Theory’ and ‘demonising’ the CPC members by certain anti-China forces is in essence intending to provoke ideological confrontation, mislead the public with ulterior motives, and attempt to revive ‘McCarthyism’ in the 21st century. Such actions on the basis of ideology is very dangerous. Anyone with reason, conscience and a sense of justice will not accept it,” it added.