Jul. 31 – India has announced its goal to develop its armed forces starting with plans to add 100 warships to its navy in the coming decade.
New Delhi is acutely aware of how it is falling behind Beijing in terms of military might. It does not help that China also is slowly encroaching geographically sensitive areas located in India’s borders with Chinese-sponsored ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka that give Chinese warships ready access to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea.
China currently has three times the number of combat vessels compared to India and an army five times bigger. The Financial Times quoted a Mumbai-based defense contractor as saying that New Delhi is considering raising the foreign direct investment cap in the defense industry from 26 percent to 49 percent.
Jul. 30 – A disturbing 45 minute documentary about the Mumbai attacks called “Terror in Mumbai” tells the story of what happened when 10 Muslim gunmen held one of the world’s busiest cities hostage while killing and wounding hundreds of people and holding India’s crack security forces at bay.
The documentary was shown in the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 and is produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Dan Reed. It features hotel and CCTV footage of the attacks and interviews with senior police officers and hostages, including the testimony from the sole surviving gunman, Kasab.
The dispatches reveal what happened, hour by hour, from the perspective of the security forces, the terrorists, their masterminds and the victims. The trial of Kasab still continues in India and the Pakistani government has, for the first time, admitted its nationals were involved.
The documentary can be watched here.
Shankar Acharya’s article in the Financial Times is an interesting piece and showcases once again the differences between China and India. Acharya, himself a former chief economist and advisor to the government of India, should know, and his recent book “India and Global Crisis” is a well-respected treatise on how the global downturn is affecting India.
The article makes interesting observations between China and India as they have developed over the past twenty years. Quite correctly, he points out that from a 1970’s base when both economies were at an essential parity, China has now raced ahead. The World Bank statistics he provides give us good reason to pause and marvel at the differences between the two nations.
Jul. 29 – Indian software companies have made strategic mistakes in investing and developing their companies in China, according to a KPMG executive.
“They have not yet understood well the local dynamics and societal issues ,” Mr K.K. Raman, Executive Director, Advisory Services, KPMG told The Hindu. Indian companies had plans to upgrade operations in China in a big way.
However, this has not happened, he added: “It is still early days for Indian companies in China. They are yet in a wait-and-watch situation.” In comparison, Chinese software companies doing business in India seem to be faring better because they have opted to hire more locals in their management team as opposed to Indian companies that set-up an all-Indian team in China. Continue reading
Jul. 28 – The United States President Barack Obama opened the first round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue yesterday with hopes to facilitate improved bilateral cooperation on relevant issues like the economic recovery, climate change and security challenges in the region.
The two day high-level talks will be led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and China’s State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier Wang Qishan to talk on issues like North Korean tensions in addition to economic concerns.
This will be the first high-level dialogue with Chinese officials held under the Obama administration. The talks began during the previous administration when it was chaired by then U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson and referred to as the Strategic Dialogue and the Strategic Economic Dialogue.
Jul. 27 – China Central Television (CCTV) has started a 24-hour Arabic language channel that will be shown in 22 Arabic-speaking countries with an audience of almost 300 million people, reports The Associated Press.
The CCTV expansion to the Middle East and Africa is part of Beijing’s major US$6.6 billion campaign to extend its media influence abroad by giving the Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily and the official news agency, Xinhua an international presence.
In a statement, CCTV vice president, Zhang Changming said the new channel “will serve as an important bridge to strengthen communication and understanding between China and Arab countries.”
Jul. 24 – Ask the average Chinese what they think of the mainland Chinese who have been educated or worked overseas and the typical response will be the politically incorrect term describing the said individual as a “banana” – meaning yellow on the outside, white on the inside.
Ask the average Indian, the same question and instead they’ll refer to the individual as an NRI or a non-resident Indian. The reasons the different responses exist – and the underlying feelings between mild mockery and respect – demonstrate the wide global integration differences that exist between the two countries.
NRI’s have existed and been acknowledged as an important source of overseas knowledge and finance in India for decades. Only recently are professional Chinese regarded in the same light. More usually, being sent overseas has had an attached stigma – often because the Chinese have themselves often been victims of trafficking. But the importance of mainland China’s growing overseas professionals is increasing.