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April, 2014

  • TATA GROUP PHOTO img-Y26135148-0001Mesmerized by the tale of the Tatas bilateral relationship with a city that was once known as the Paris of the East Inchin Closer explores a personal story, which highlights scintillating Shanghai during an era of change. The 1930-40’s were a time when the two neighbours were at the height of their glory, just before Indian Independence in 1947 and the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, it was a time when trade was booming and India and China each sought new identities for a modern era.

    In an exclusive interview with Inchin Closer, author Mishi Saran delves deeper into her story – “A House for Mr. Tata – An Old Shanghai Tale,” published recently in an anthology, Travelling In, Travelling Out – A book of unexpected Journeys; edited by Namita Gokhale. (HarperCollins India, January 2014)

    Ms. Saran’s story weaves back to when Bejan Dadabhoy Tata, a distant cousin of the founders of the House of Tata, left India’s shores and made it big in Shanghai.  Her detailed pen swerves through the history of a nation in flux to stitch together the personal tale of a man who succeeded and built his home in China. By bringing to life intricate details through a first hand interview with B.D. Tata’s son, Jehangir Bejan Tata, just before he passed away last November, Ms. Saran unveils the family’s struggle to prove ownership of their house – Avan Villa — which their father built and remnants of which continue to stand in the heart of modern day Shanghai at No. 458 Wulumuqi North Road.

    Although Jehangir Bejan Tata tried persistently to retrieve papers to prove ownership of their house over the past few decades, the exercise has proved futile. Besides some documents, the family also has photos of the house, of Shanghai in the 1940’s and pieces of their life in Sam Tata’s photos. Sam Tata, Jehangir Bejan Tata’s brother, was a photographer and had worked alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson, a master of candid photography and one of the world’s most renowned photojournalists. Sam Tata published a book of his photos taken during Shanghai’s extraordinary summer in 1949 and called it Shanghai 1949, The End of An Era.

    In addition to detailing the Tata family’s ongoing struggle to obtain proof of their original ownership of Avan Villa, Ms. Saran’s tale also signals the presence of a Zoroastrian prayer hall and cemetery in Shanghai. On a request from Inchin Closer, she dug out an ancient map of the city, showing exactly where these relics stand and also sent in photos of their existence today.

    The unveiling of this story brings to life many interesting facts, anecdotes and tales of a rich, shared Inchin history. Read on for a detailed interview with the author Ms. Mishi Saran

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  • Premier Li in IndiaAll of a sudden, there is a flurry within Chinese business and diplomatic circles present in India. Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Heren A sense of urgency prevails, to get things moving, paperwork pushed and machines brought in, companies established and capital pumped in, associations formed and collaborations sealed. Nike Air Max 90 Honeycomb Dame The Chinese within India have jumped into action and want things done in double time. They finally want to see results. Nike Air Max 90 BR Heren As India’s new Prime Minister gets sworn in today, many Chinese companies are going all guns to make their mark on the Indian subcontinent. Nike Air Max 90 Dames Chinese companies who have up until now sat quietly on the sidelines speculating about where to invest are now swooping into the country to strike it rich. As China’s GDP falls from her supersonic highs, and the economy stagnates as inflation balloons, Chinese companies are looking beyond their comfort zone of South East Asia – which they’ve already explored and are now bolstered with cash to invest further afar. India is a prime target and Chinese companies already in India have crunched their numbers long before Modi said – I do. Air Max Tailwind 7 Goedkoop Read more

  • india_china_talks-660_042413092442In order to cement its role in smoothing India-China relations, the Indian National Congress  facilitated a high level meeting between Indian Foreign secretary Sujatha Singh and her counterpart vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin in Beijing for the sixth round of strategic dialogue last week. Besides deepening trade and economic ties, the foreign secretaries also chalked out the path ahead by reaffirming their alliance and bilateral commitment to each other.

    An important decision declared during the meeting was China’s rejection of India’s proposal to establish a Consulate in Lhasa, Tibet. As a reciprocal move New Delhi has refused China permission to set up a consulate in Kolkata. India will now plan to establish another office in Chengdu, Sichuan Province or Kunming, Yunnan Province. She had earlier also considered a consulate or trade office in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    Furthermore, prior to President Xi Jinping’s visit to India later this year, both sides also held intensive consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues including the contentious border, India’s ballooning trade deficit, the proposed special economic zones and plans for this years events during the Year of India-China Friendly Exchanges

  • nepal-mapChina is expanding her presence in Nepal, the mountainous region that’s North of India and home to some of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth. While India and Nepal have had a very close economic and political correlation owning to their geographic proximity, China until recently has remained a bit distant to the neighbour who shares a wall with both India and China. However, China is now getting cozy with Nepal leading India to keep a sharp eye out for warming relations. In October last year China put into effect her new strategy entitled zhoubian or Peripheral Diplomacy under which she has been expanding her influence around Lumbini, Buddha’s birthplace which lies inside Nepal and barely 25 km across the border from India. Nike Free 4.0 V2 Goedkoop Further, the number of Chinese Learning Centres (CLCs) operating in schools in Nepal’s border villages have also grown as per a directive from the Shashastra Seema Bal (SSB), manning the sensitive 550-km India-Nepal Border in the two states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In addition to soft power, China is also keen to capture Khatmandu though her economic might. Nike Air Max 90 II CamouflagDame The Chinese central bank today allowed Nepal to double its investment in Chinese government securities upto RMB 2.4 billion, paving the way for Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to put more cash in secure debt instruments, like bonds, issued by the neighbouring country, enabling Chinese companies to make further in roads into Nepal through financial instruments. Read more

  • border By changing her stance on developing infrastructure along the border with China, India is at risk of taking a few steps back from border discussions the two armies and leaders of state have recently held. Air Max 2015 Flyknit Goedkoop Up until now, India was reluctant to develop roads along the Chinese border for fear that it would make it easier for the Chinese army to penetrate India if they did attack. The change in mindset, not only echos New Delhi’s reformed opinion on China but also points towards an onset of a more aggressive position towards her largest trading partner. India recently announced it has plans to invest US$6.5billion (India’s largest-ever single infrastructure project) to construct a 1,800km (1,118 miles) all-weather road which will stretch from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh state to where the borders of India and China meet with Myanmar. NIKE AIR MAX 2017 HEREN DAME LOVERS ZWART WIT The two nations recently saw tempers flare as the Chinese army invaded disputed areas along the border even as President Xi Jinping was in New Delhi to boost trade, investment and softer ties between the neighbours. Nike AIR Max 2017 Zwart While violations of the de facto border are a common affair, the conspicuous timing and motives of the latest intrusion, and its broader implications for Sino-Indian relations, merit greater scrutiny. Read more

  • Modi & Wang China is happy to have a single party to communicate with in India. Air Max 2015 Zwart Oranje Goedkoop They are also glad that Narendra Modi, India’s new elected prime minister is for economic development and efficiency, a wish they have been hoping India would ride on a long time ago. On Friday, India announced historic results of her national elections. Held once in five years, by 850 million people, the verdict was of a unanimous voice to change the current system of corruption, inefficiency and inertia in a system that was bursting with potential. The National Democratic Alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a sweeping victory in the general election of India by crossing the 300 seat mark in the 543-seat Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament. Nike Air Max 90 Bloemen Dame The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Mr. Narendra Modi will be India’s next Prime Minister, after the incumbent Congress party which has long had strong ties with China lost in its worst tally ever. Mr. Nike Air Huarache Heren Modi is expected to be sworn in as India’s Prime Minister on Wednesday, 26th May. Chinese investments have long stayed on the sidelines, waiting for the Indian election results. Now, bursting with economic activity, and supported by a leader who promises change, efficiency and economic growth on the lines of China, Chinese companies are keen to unleash their investments in India, especially in the manufacturing sector. Keen on helping India to prosper along Chinese growth lines, the BJP is a strong supporter of China’s model of economic development. Mr. Modi has not only encouraged Chinese companies to set up manufacturing plants in his home state Gujarat, but has also eased the process. Additionally, he has encouraged many of his expected ministers and cabinet members to learn Mandarin. Many of whom, including Smriti Irani have learnt the emperors tongue. Read more

  • image (2)Few days back I spoke about how, if you are a visitor in India, you are bound to come across some or other Festival. There is one more thing that I forgot to mention which you come across in India on a frequent basis is The big “E” – Elections. There are a lot of parties in India such as national parties, regional parties and local ones. Believe it or not, since the elections are always held in different regions at different times, it is normal that you may just see some activities of elections while traveling within India. The levels of elections can be huge event as National Elections, State Elections, or smaller ones like District Elections, Municipal Elections and Gram Panchayat Elections (to elect head of villages). No matter what happens ahead, be rest assured its elected by the people. If you are in Maharashtra these days, congratulations, you can have a close look at how excited people are. 15 Oct, while I am writing this blog, people of Maharashtra, the largest state in western India are voting to form a state government. From 7am to 6pm, people can go and vote for their favorite political party. India takes pride in its democracy. Air Max 2016 Flyknit Goedkoop It is considered an extremely vibrant democracy. People from all classes and castes come out and vote depending on their own wishes. To show that they encourage their employee to participate in this event, many companies allow their employees to leave the office early or come slightly late. Some offices even give a day off to make sure their staff won’t miss the event. Read more

  • image (1)In the first meeting between the new leaders of the world’s most populous countries, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the stage for healthy bilateral ties. Nike Air Max 1 Heren Meeting on the sidelines of the sixth BRICS summit in Brazil, just days after the Football World Cup finals, both leaders agreed to boost bilateral trade and smoothly resolve the border issue. China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. Air Max 2015 Zwart Oranje Goedkoop India says China occupies 38,000 sq km of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west. During the 80 minute meeting, the neighbours agreed they would rather be long-term strategic partners, rather than competitors. A statement in local Chinese media – Xinhua said that China and India aim to work together to achieve peaceful development and cooperation so that the 2.5 billion people between our nations can live a better life and regional ties can be strengthened. Air Max 2016 Heren Goedkoop In extending a hand, President Xi Jinping will also visit India is September, and has invited Modi to attend the 21 member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, or APEC in China two months later. India has never attended an APEC summit, and has long sought to become a member to help boost its economy. Air Max Tailwind 8 Goedkoop APEC includes Canada, Mexico, Russia and the United States and accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s population, 55 percent of global gross domestic product and 44 percent of world trade. Read more

  • img-chinasworldwidereachjanuary20141500pxinfographic_101104395042In a small yet significant trend, the worlds companies are gradually being run by Indian executives and Chinese investors.

    Over the past few months it has been observed by Inchin Closer, that a large number of multinational companies have elected Indian CEO’s to their helm, while being fueled by funds from the Mainland. In a story corroborated with by the Wall Street Journal, there are more Indians heading global Fortune 500 companies than Chinese while there is more money invested in these Fortune 500 companies either directly or indirectly from China than India.

    As the world’s axis maintains its Eastward tilt, companies are beginning to work with a more Asian bent in operations, catering more to Asian consumer tastes and focusing increasingly on services, a trait well ingrained in Asia.

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  • C713X0179H_2013資料照片_N71_copy1Plans are afoot to revive Bihar’s economy with Chinese investments in industry, technology and tourism. Located in East India, Bihar is a state which has one of the highest populations and until recently has depended highly on agriculture. Nike Air Max Heren However as the state aspires to rise up, the local government is keen on attract investments based on her rich historic past. Bihar, is known as the original site of the first recorded activities of Siddhartha, or Buddha, that once made it the center of the Maurya Empire of India in the 3rd century BC and was visited by pilgrims from China and other countries some 1,500 years ago. Similar to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, one of India’s largest states in Central India is also following suit. Nike Air Max 2017 Heren Goedkoop The local government is keen to attract Chinese investments to Sanchi University and help raise it to the status of Nalanda University, where Chinese monk Xuan Zhang once studied. Air Max 2015 Wit Goedkoop By attracting Chinese investments due to their historic significance, Indian states are keen to uplift their economies and drive ailing infrastructure in the state. Nike Free TR Fit Goedkoop Despite their rich cultural heritage, the area has remained poor and underdeveloped, however the local governments are toying with the idea of replicating Industrial parks along the lines of those created in China to boost development in industry. Nike Air Max 90 Honeycomb Dame Read more

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