Economy
What PM Narendra Modi should discuss with China during his visit in May
New areas of collaboration include the Railways, industrial parks and reciprocal arrangements to be made so that India and China can expand business
 
India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, has begun her four-day visit to China in preparation for the proposed China visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, scheduled for May. Her first stop-over, interestingly, began with Kunming, the capital of Yunan province, which has strategic significance.  This will connect Kolkata, as the terminating point of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, a part of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR), which India is negotiating with China for participation.
 
It may be remembered that China promoted Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, with India's staunch support, is most likely to be used for funding the Maritime Silk Road projects. Currently, however, there is the under current and bitterness, reciprocal in the sense, that while India does not like Chinese submarine visits to both Sri Lanka and Maldives, China resents the joint exploration bid by India-Vietnam in ‘South China Sea’!
 
Sushma Swaraj has been meeting Wang Li, her Chinese counterpart, and has confirmed that PM Narendra Modi will visit China before 26th May. She is reported to have said, that, “India remains committed to an 'early settlement' of 'border issues' and also expects during Modi's visit agreements may be reached to have an additional route to Mansarovar, a Hindu pilgrimage located in Tibet. PM Modi himself may take this visit as an opportune time to take the trip to Mansarovar!”
 
Earlier, India had proposed a new route to Mansarovar from Natula pass in Sikkim, and this may begin by June 2015, and China agreed to this but had stated that ‘infrastructure’ needs to be built for making this possible.
Unfortunately, as this friendly discussions are going on in Beijing, Xiaomi, the Chinese Smartphone manufacturer, ‘inadvertently’ reignited a century old geopolitical dispute between India and China, by their Hugo Barra showing maps of India including Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh as ‘disputed’. It may be noted that Xiaomi sells 100,000 headsets a week and considers India as hugely important and saying that ‘we are here to stay’! Due to the poor reaction from Indian customers, this was ‘deleted’ but not before being ‘saved’.  This could be ‘viewed’ in Yahoo.  
 
In the meantime, while addressing the India-China Media Forum, Sushma Swaraj, reiterated the close development partnership envisaged by President Xi Jinping during his recent visit to India symbolises the 'resolve' to enhance economic ties. New areas of collaboration are to include the Railways, industrial parks and reciprocal arrangements to be made so that India and China can expand business. India has a $38-billion deficit in a $70-billion bilateral trade!
 
Sushma Swaraj is reported to have launched a ‘2015 visit India year’ in China, by tourism to promote people to people understanding as this plays a vital international role.
 
It is hoped that this does not include Chinese troops ‘inadvertently’ crossing into Indian territory! Such ‘visits’ happened even during the President Xi Jinping's visit to India. Sushma Swaraj announced a six-point proposal to jointly realise with Beijing the dream of an ‘Asian Century’.  But, what are the main things that our PM Narendra Modi must have in his agenda, during his forthcoming visit to China?  He must show India's willingness to:
a) whole-heartedly support the Silk Road, Maritime Silk Road, Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
b) willingness to support the use of national currency in bilateral trade to reduce the dependence on the dollar
c) encourage joint ventures in both countries on a reciprocal basis
d) resolve the question of border disputes within an agreed time frame
e) agree to a no-war pact PROVIDED China agrees to:
          (i) return Aksai Chin and other areas illegally ceded by Pakistan, back to India
          (ii) tourism does not include military personnel or air space violation by Chinese forces
         (iii) whole-heartedly supports India's entry into the UN Security Council as a permanent member and does not propose Pakistan's entry
         (iv) to set up manufacturing units to support ‘Make in India’; also facilitates entry of Indian business to set up operations in China
         (v) to set up a steel mill in Goa to be able to use low grade iron ore, obtain high grade from India or outside like Brazil or Australia, and export the finished steel either back to China or export anywhere
         (vi)  refrain from arming Pakistan in any manner, particularly, in the nuclear field
 
Unless China shows that it is truly keen to have India's friendship and support by doing the above, it is very difficult to continue this ‘touch and go’ diplomacy.
 
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
 

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COMMENTS

vishal

2 years ago

May is far off. What happens by then will not be occupying the minds of Chinese. They will be now concerned mostly with with their slowing economy and their desire for improving relations with Pakistan. Of course they will also be concerned about our market.

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Book Review of: Bombay Mumbai – Life is life, I am Because of You

In his autobiography, Amin Sheikh tells the inspiring story of his struggles and his successes with a simplicity that is heartwarming

 

There is no dearth of inspirational stories in literature - some long and eloquent, some short and powerful. In Amin Sheikh's autobiography - Bombay Mumbai – Life is life, I am Because of You, and the beauty lies in its honesty and guilelessness. 
 
Last week, we published an article about Amin Sheikh and his journey from a street child to a published writer and entrepreneur. In this book, he tells his story in his own words. It is simple, unpretentious and sincere. At the very beginning of the book, Amin pays a tribute to the city that both destroyed him and gave him everything he has today – Bombay. “Without Bombay, I would not be here...Bombay is the magic of dreams, of unconditional love to serve everybody, no matter who, whether big or small.” 
 
His story begins from the time he was five years old - a happy childhood in the company of his parents. Things began to change from the time his mother decided to leave his father and live with another man, taking little Amin and his two sisters along with her. From here, he traces his journey – the abuse at home, his decision to run away, the three years he spent living at a Railway station, the friends he made and the struggles he faced, his time at Snehasadan (an institution that fosters homeless children), his first job, his first independent venture, his first trip to Barcelona, and finally, his first book. 
 
He doesn't feel the need to hide anything – not the time he slapped his little sister in a fit of rage as a teenaged boy, not the time he and his friends thought it would be fun to steal the belongings of other patients in his hospital room, not the time he secretly drove the cars he was only supposed to wash. It's possible to see where that courage comes from; his life has been about learning and he grew up to be a man who is sensitive to the pain of others. He even forgave his mother for what she did to him; he even bought a house for her to live in. He takes pride in who he is today, and vows to help others in need have the opportunities that he was lucky to find.
 
In this book, Amin takes his time to thank all those who helped him in life – the ones who loved him, the ones who taught him, the ones who befriended him. He reminds you not take anything for granted when he coveys his gratitude to every single person who has ever been his friend. Not just that, he also refuses to hold grudges against those who were unkind. 
 
Amin Sheikh has never received any professional training in English. Always one with a keen ear, he learned English on the job in the years he spent working for Eustace Fernandes. He wrote this book not just to tell his story, but in order to raise funds to set up his dream Library Cafe – 'Bombay to Barcelona'. His many friends from all over the world have helped him edit the book, design the cover, publish the book and promote its sale all over the world. It has already been translated into two foreign languages. Also, by the time you get to the end of the book, the inclusion of Barcelona in his ultimate dream will be unsurprising. He was awestruck by its beauty and vigour the first time he visited it back in 2003. With his subsequent visits, his love for the Spanish city has only increased. 
 
Though the heart of this story is in Mumbai, its universal appeal is indisputable. Perhaps, because the story is heartwarming, and told with so much love. It is a story of rising and shining against all odds. Despite all the upheavals that Amin has been through, the tone of the book is unfailingly hopeful and positive. This is not a book to be read for its literary merit, it is to be read for its touching story and the fact that your contribution would help Amin come one step closer to realising his dream. His dream cafe - 'Bombay to Barcelona', will provide employment opportunities for children just out of orphanages and foster homes. It will also serve as a platform for other aspiring artists to showcase their talent. 
 
 
Amin will also be present at the Moneylife Foundation's 5th Anniversary Celebration on 7 February 2015 at YB Chavan Hall (Nariman Point, Mumbai). You can meet him and buy your copy of his book for Rs300. To register for the event, please click here
 

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COMMENTS

SookieSkipper

2 years ago

Many go through the life Amin did when he was young. But only handful manage to pick themselves up and be what he is today. For that he deserves all the praise and success he is getting.

All the very best to him!

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