Chinese teachers hardly get Indian visa

There is a rising demand in India to learn the Chinese language, but New Delhi is hardly issuing visa to teachers from China, says Beijing’s top diplomat here.

‘There are no native Chinese teachers to teach the language to Indians since April 2008 despite the growing demand to learn the language,’ Consul General Mao Siwei said in an interview here.

‘The main problem is they don’t get Indian visa easily. They are not directly denied the visa but the procedure is delayed for so long that the teachers ultimately give up,’ Mao told IANS.

The diplomat said the increasing appeal for Chinese language followed rising trade between India and China in recent years.

‘There is a growing demand to learn Chinese among Indian businessmen because English is not our national language and not the medium for instruction too. Very few Chinese in China understand English.’

Asked why he thought India needed Chinese language teachers from China, he said the language was ‘different’ from all others.

‘Chinese is a totally different language and a bit difficult too. Unlike other languages that have several thousand syllables, Chinese has only a few hundred. Hence a lot of them have the same pronunciation. There are same words with different meanings and the difference in meaning is based on tunes.

‘For example, the word ‘ma’ pronounced in four different ways has four meanings – mother, jute plant, horse and quarrel,’ Mao said.

Mao said that Indian teachers of Chinese language cannot give the ‘correct pronunciation that is required for beginners to learn the language as well as be understood by Chinese people’.

According to him, under an agreement by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Chinese education ministry, every two years two teachers from China should be sent to India at one or more universities and two teachers from India will go to China to teach Hindi at Beijing University.

‘There was a Chinese teacher at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi a long time back. After his two-year term got over, we have not been able to send anyone to take his place. The same goes for two teachers at Santiniketan University in West Bengal and Delhi University,’ he said.

The consul general said the main problem lay in getting an Indian working visa.

‘I don’t know, but for some unknown reasons, Chinese teachers are not being given Indian visa easily. Even teachers at Santiniketan and Delhi universities got their visa with much difficulty.

‘After the teacher from Santiniketan returned to China, the Chinese education authorities assigned a teacher to take his position. The lady waited for several months for the visa. Ultimately, she went to some other country.’

There is a cell under the Chinese education ministry to promote the language abroad.

Mao said a working visa does take some time to get cleared, but ‘the procedure can’t be delayed forever like this’. He added there was nothing the Chinese authorities can do about it.

‘It is the sovereign right of the Indian government to issue or reject visa. So we cannot say much about it apart from requesting the authorities to issue visa to our teachers in a quicker way so that we can help Indians who are willing to learn Chinese.

‘It will be best if the (Indian) government can chalk out a special policy for Chinese teachers.’

Mao added that Sino-Indian relations were on the upswing.

‘Now that political relations between India and China are quite good, we should work at increasing cultural exchange too. Unless we know each other’s culture, it’s difficult to understand each other’s hearts.’

It is only because of India that China is a Buddhist country, he said.

‘Issues like visa hazards hold us back. The (new Indian) policy must be more flexible to increase cultural exchanges.’

Source: INAS

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  1. Vishal says:

    Given the jump in bilateral trade, enhanced economic and cultural exchanges between the two populous neighbours in Asia, it really comes as a surprise that visa is not denied but takes ages to process by New Delhi to bring in one or maybe a handful of Chinese native teachers to Indian universities or institutions to teach the Chinese language in its orginal form. Even the Chinese Consulate, supposedly at the highest level of diplomatic connection, could do nothing.
    With partnerships in globalization, here we are talking about one or two Chinese native teachers to teach nationally in India, from which only a small fraction would want to learn the language out of billions of people either with intention to work in or to trade with China.
    The Cultural Ministry of the Government of India should investigate the bureaucracy and put into effect of the agreement made with UGC to accelerate visa issuance as a matter of cultural promotion between the two countries.
    Unless the matter is politically motivated, which seems unlikely, or else visa issuance would be denied upfront.

  2. rebecca says:

    i want to live in indian and teach Chiense there.Truely.

  3. angel says:

    i want come to india as a teacher please send me detail thankyou

  4. Howard says:

    The Delhi Government did the right thing by refusing visas to any Chinese from China, doesnt matter teacher or tourist or monks, they were bitten once and twice shy (after Sino-Indian border conflict). If not because of the war, I would have been a very rich Chinese living in Calcutta today !

  5. ycl1688 says:


    You said it absolutely right, had it not been chinese communist govt in china, there would not have been so many uprooted families all over the world. Yet this is not a perfect world.

  6. Brendon says:

    The comment here is for the Forum Discussion titled: No Chinese in India, says Government posted by Leon in Communty Lounge from the Telegraph, Kolkata.

    Every country has its rights to do whatever it thinks best for its citizens. So, what the Indian Government did, others should not see it with any negativity. It is plainly just.

    On the Chinese part, whether there is a hidden agenda – as claimed by the Indians – is pointless and unproven. The irony as revealed in the article claimed that many Indians from prestigeous higher school of learnings like IIM, IIT etc. are learning Chinese – WHY, WHAT FOR ? On the other hand, China is justified to also retaliate to do the same of what the Indians did.

    The bottom-line is for the various ministries of the Indian Government that they should never ever use this current “sour or tense” relationships to cause undue hardships to Indian Chinese community mainly concentrated in Kolkata, India – to impose hardships on their livelihood and freedom of travels etc. If that happens, the democratic process of India is put to SHAME, SHAME, SHAME.

    I sincerely hope that history will not repeat itself of what happened in 1962. All those Indian Chinese who remain in Inida should never ever go through, in this 21st century, another period of persecution by the Indians.