The Candid Eye

October 23, 2010

Kanakapura to China

Forget the kung fu hustle, it’s now time for China to learn some disciplines in yoga. Yes, the Art Of Living is going to China and founder Sri Sri Ravishankar will open its first ashram in the country this Sunday during his maiden visit.

The Beijing ashram, constructed on a 165–acre land, will have rooms and dormitories that can accommodate up to 150 people. It also houses a three-storey meditation centre.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

China will be the fifth country in the world to have an ashram set up by the AOL International Centre (AOLIC). Germany, Canada, Russia, Poland and USA have ashrams, the biggest one being in Canada.

Why an ashram in China? AOLIC spokesperson Karthik Krishna gives the answer: Hundreds of foreigners visit the AOL ashram on Kanakapura Road in Bangalore every year— many of them are Chinese who felt a need for a similar ashram in their country.

There are also plans to open a therapy centre in the Beijing ashram in due course.

Sunday’s inauguration will be followed by a satsang which will be co-organised by the state-run Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

AoL teachers from Bangalore provided yoga training to over two dozen Chinese teachers from Shanghai and Beijing for the Beijing ashram.

Source : DNA

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October 15, 2010

His Holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar invited by China!!

Godless China has invited Art of Living (AOL) founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, for a religious leaders’ meeting and a satsang near Beijing later this month. This would be the spiritual leader’s first China visit.

Sources said state-run China Overseas Friendship Association (COFA) is organising the event on October 24 and 25 and around 400 people from across the country are expected to attend the satsang. They said Beijing gave its go ahead for the event to promote bilateral ties with India and that the invitation is the first of its kind to any Indian religious figure.

HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“We expect senior businessmen, show business celebrities, medical, educational experts and even psychiatrists to attend the event,” said Tang Qiyu, who would host the event at his ashram-like resort for yoga and meditation on the outskirts of the capital. Sources said Tang’s efforts made the invitation for the spiritual leader possible.

Tang, a businessman, has invested over $15 million in the resort that offers yoga training facilities. The businessman developed the resort and dedicated it to Sri Sri after meeting him in Bangalore last year.

“There is some change in the Chinese government’s attitude towards spirituality. Swami Amolji, a teacher from AOL’s Bangalore ashram, recently attended a government-sponsored yoga conference in Beijing,” Tang said.

During his Beijing visit, Amolji said he found a strong inclination among the Chinese towards spiritualism. Apart from Amolji, several AOL teachers from Bangalore have visited and trained over two dozen Chinese spiritual teachers in Shanghai and Beijing in the last two years.

From TOI

January 23, 2010

Why India should not get too close to China?

There is no need for India to club its future with that of the Middle Kingdom, notes Claude Arpi.

Indians are good people, but this can sometimes become a problem, especially in the fields of defence and foreign policy. Why so?

Too often they believe that others are like them. The best example has been the first Indian prime minister’s Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai policy. Jawaharlal Nehru believed in the fraternity of nations, he believed in peaceful co-existence, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; he tried hard to impose these lofty principles on India’s neighbours, and particularly on China.

A clever Zhou Enlai pretended to agree with the principles, but his mind functioned differently. Zhou, like his mentor Mao Zedong, was a hardcore revolutionary who believed in the omnipotence of war. Is it not the Great Helmsman who wrote, ‘Some people have ridiculed us as the advocates of omnipotence of war. Yes, we are: We are the advocates of the omnipotence of the revolutionary war, which is not bad at all, but good and is Marxist.’

Chinese Flag

There is nothing wrong in believing in the omnipotence of peace, as long one does not forget that others may think (and act) differently.In the case of Nehru, the result was not long to come; eight years after signing the Panchsheel Agreement, China treacherously attacked India in the North East Frontier Agency and Ladakh. The nation paid a heavy price for not being able to understand the Chinese way of thinking.

The tragedy is that 50 years later, many in India still believe that the priority No 1 of India’s foreign policy should be to be friends with China. Once again, there is nothing wrong to be China’s ‘friend’ or even ‘brother’, but it should not be at the cost of India’s interests or by bending backward over each whim and fancy of a single-party regime in Beijing.

In India, you will find different types of apologists. Some could be called ‘lackeys’ (to use Mao’s parlance): They usually have business or academic interests in China and love the reception they get when they travel to the Middle Kingdom. Let us not waste time over them.

Many sincerely believe that India and China are two emerging economies, for a long time under the political and economic thumb of the West (in particular the United States), therefore their destiny is intimately linked. Their ‘logical’ conclusion is that Beijing and Delhi [ Images ] should work in tandem. They give a recent example: the common position at Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change.

I will not go into details but I totally disagree. Although there is one common denominator (the fast development rate), India’s case is totally different from China’s.

Even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently stated in Washington: ‘Well, I have no hesitation in saying that I think development in India cannot be a carbon copy of what happens in China. And the Chinese system is very different.’

India

Speaking to CNN, he reiterated his government’s stand: ‘There is enough economic space for both our countries to realise the growth ambitions of our respective countries.’ He however made it clear: ‘We are a functioning democracy… Democracy is slow-moving… I always believed that it may be slow-moving in the short term, but in the long run, an arrangement which has the backing of the people at large will prove to be more durable.’

If one analyses the future of the two countries, this should be kept in mind. India and China are different and their destinies may go in opposite directions.

Wei Jingsheng, the most famous Chinese dissident who spent 18 years in jail for proposing in the 1970’s ‘democracy’ as the fifth ‘modernisation’, (Deng Xiaoping had spoken of the Four Modernisations) recently wrote an article in The Christian Science Monitor. He opposed the sentence of 11 years in prison for the mild dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Wei noted that because China ‘now sits prominently at the tables of global governance’, its leaders think thus: ‘Since you made a fuss about releasing Liu after his arrest, we will punish him even more severely. In no uncertain terms, that will let you know that not only don’t we care what you think, but we don’t have to.’

Wei adds: ‘We Chinese are intimately acquainted with this authoritarian arrogance’, before concluding: ‘Now that China’s leaders believe their prospering nation has emerged as a player in world history just as America’s prestige has been weakened by the Iraq war and the recent financial meltdown, the hardliners have been able to wrest the upper hand once again.’

No goody-goody Indian analyst will view things like this, though Indian ‘experts’ would better grasp China if they could understand the centrality of the survival of the Communist party in the preoccupation of all Chinese leaders.

Today there is one issue which preoccupies the apparatchiks in Beijing more than anything else: the rate of the yuan. Indeed the fate of the regime depends on the continuation of the growth rate which itself largely depends on the low rate of the Chinese currency.

In 2009, the Barack Obama  administration tried the bhai-bhai way with Beijing, accepting to drop a proposed meeting between the Dalai Lama and later forgetting all contentious issues during the November presidential visit to Beijing. But it did not pay off; Beijing hardened its stance in all fronts.

In 2010, Obama seems decided to show the mandarins in Beijing that the US remains a power to reckon with. He will meet the Dalai Lama and sell Black Hawk helicopters and anti-missile batteries to Taiwan.

The Washington Post pointed out that many American analysts today believe that ‘the Obama administration — with its intensive outreach to Beijing — tried too hard in its first year to cultivate ties with China. Playing hard to get might have helped smooth out China’s swagger.’

Another US expert explained: ‘We’re in the role of the supplicant’ while a senior US trade official mildly threatened: ‘If [Beijing] continues on this particular path in a strong and inflexible way, there will be a significant political backlash not just in the United States. China needs to be aware of that.’

For these reasons, Beijing will have to reevaluate its currency, sooner or later. Even in China many agree that China has no choice. Zhang Bing, a researcher at the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, stated in a research paper that the government’s current yuan policy of gradual reform is wrong. Zhang admitted: ‘There’s a very urgent need for pushing forward the reform plan on the yuan and now is the best timing.’ He concluded that ‘a 10 percent appreciation in the yuan against the dollar should have a limited impact on the Chinese economy. It would reduce speculative fund inflows by effectively eliminating expectations of a yuan appreciation.’

Whether Beijing decides to reevaluate the yuan in 2010 or not, ultimately the decision is inescapable and this will have incalculable consequences for the Middle Kingdom.

On January 1, Swaminathan Aiyar in The Economic Times predicted that during the next decade: ‘India will overtake China as the fastest-growing economy in the world. China will start ageing and suffering from a declining workforce, and will be forced to revalue its currency. So its growth will decelerate, just as Japan decelerated in the 1990s after looking unstoppable in the 1980s. Having become the world’s second-biggest economy, China’s export-oriented model will erode sharply — the world will no longer be able to absorb its exports at the earlier pace.’

Well, the future will tell us if the prediction was true. But in the meantime, Chinese supremacy may continue for some time. According to deal tracking firm Dealogic: ‘Global property sector M&A [merger & acquisitions] reached just $151.8 billion in 2009, the lowest level since 2003’. However, China witnessed an increase of 41 percent in its M&A levels from its previous year: ‘China attracted deals amounting to $29.3 billion or 19 percent of the global volume — the highest total on record,’ commented Dealogic.

The only certainty is that the situation of the Middle Kingdom is far more unstable than in India. A scenario found on The Financial Times’ web site makes interesting studying. The author projects himself to 2019 when shortage of water in China heralds the end of an epoch: ‘By 2015, it was [already] obvious: China was seriously parched. The Great Wall of Credit of 2009-2012 had unleashed too much industrial capacity consuming too much water. That exacerbated a nationwide shortage — China had more than a fifth of the world’s population, but only 6 per cent of its fresh water. Four years later and the crisis has taken on ruinous dimensions. Crop failure and famine in the deserted interiors; emergency rationing in the teeming coastal cities… Ten years ago [2009] China had it all: a well-nourished workforce, vast reserves of paper money, a new swagger on the international stage. The sharp currency revaluation of 2010 unleashed a global mergers and acquisitions spree the likes of which the world had never seen… That president Xi Jinping is considering beseeching poorer neighbours for food aid is a measure of how far the mighty have fallen.’

One can envisage several other scenarios, but one point is certain, China will have to face far more serious problems than India in the years to come. For sure, there is no need for India to club its future with that of the Middle Kingdom. One of the possible future scenarios is certainly a conflict with India for water which will be triggered by the nervousness of the declining empire.India can continue to believe in the omnipotence of peace, but it should be ready for any eventuality.

Related Posts:

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Can Indian leadership handle China?

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China working on Maoist SIMI nexus in South India?

China should breakup India – Strategist

Why China may attack India by 2012?

December 24, 2009

Can Indian leadership handle China??

This is an excerpt from the article by Tarun Vijay.

The famous hotel Dusit Thani Hua Hin overlooking the gulf of Thailand, where the leaders of India and China met, proudly proclaims, “We use gifts of the heavens to create heaven on earth.” It is one of Thailand’s most scintillating hubs, known for its calm and serene surroundings. I don’t know if the leaders noticed it, but they surely were there to create a better atmosphere between the two nuclear-powered nations which fought a bitter war forty-seven years ago and have been under the shadow of a cold war once again.

Manmohan Singh & Wen Jiabao

Manmohan Singh & Wen Jiabao

The meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao must help calm the harshness in both the capitals. Prudence and pragmatism prevailed and the outcome was placidly correct. Just correct. Neither yielded the position he has stuck to and neither raised the decibel levels. You couldn’t have expected a tit-for-tat show there and while being conscious of the present situation, if both sides can reconcile themselves to building bridges while sorting out difference, neither loses.

Of late, the Chinese have been pricking Indian sensitivities at an extraordinarily fast pace. So much so that even the electioneering scenes in India were overpowered by the news regarding Chinese incursions, Indian rebuffs, major cover stories in media and the Arunachal CM meeting the Prime Minister.

Interestingly, in such a charged background our cool and gentle Manmohan Singh met Wen Jiabao and felt “excited” as the news reports say. I am sure this must be a reporter’s overenthusiasm, as he might have wanted to convey the thrill of the meeting. The reports said, “Manmohan Singh told Wen: ‘I am excited to see you.’ He said the Chinese people have had a number of achievements “and we share their sense of accomplishment”. He said this in the context of the 60th anniversary of the founding of modern China.”

The Chinese premier was more candid. He said, “We want to have a healthy and steady relationship with India. I hope we can use this opportunity to exchange our views on all related issues.”

As any student of Chinese affairs can tell, understanding diplomacy in Mandarin is a tricky job. Each word and the length of the sentence and similes used to convey the message have to be studied carefully. The official “leaks” do not tell us whether the Indian side conveyed any displeasure or annoyance to the Chinese premier on their cold-war like interventions and the Chinese side, it appears, was calmly “just diplomatically right”. It means they think what they have been doing so far is right and demands no explanation or relook.This must worry us.

The raking up of the border issue so forcefully, in spite of an agreement that the issue will be resolved amicably and through dialogue, has surprised many. While the pro-China lobby in Delhi blamed the American influence for creating an atmosphere that would make the Indian people ask for a reprisal, the factual position about Chinese arrogance spoke a different story. The situation on the Chinese side has to be understood before any final “assault”. The Chinese have grown rich, assertive and xenophobic in their global dreams. And this must make them more interventionist in near future.

It began with the Chinese incursions – observers say there had been more than 218 incursions by the Chinese security personnel since January this year. And the number of such incursions was higher in the Ladakh sector, where they have been successful to also make India dismantle a bridge on the Indus. The experts from Ladakh have been complaining that the Chinese have been intruding the Indian territory, they are not taking our land by inches but by yards. These experts also tells us the points and the nullahs where the Chinese came and then established their dominance. Yet nobody from the South Block took it seriously. Even the Army chief, Gen Deepak Kapoor, and our foreign minister, S M Krishna, gave contradictory statements about incursions. Still the Chinese belligerence didn’t stop. China objected to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Arunachal visit, it began construction work in the Kashmir region which is under illegal occupation of Pakistan, in spite of having conceded by the Indian government that Tibet is a part of China (which the nationalist school of thought will never accept), China keeps showing Kashmir as an independent country and Sikkim has yet to be shown as an Indian state. It also began giving visas to Kashmiris separately and hasn’t quite understood about the terrorist problem India is facing though it would like us to understand its jihadi headache in Xinjiang.

China opposed India’s agreement with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), it tried to block Asian Development Bank’s $60 million loan for a power generation project in Arunachal, and more recently it tried its hardest to coerce Southeast Asian nations against inviting India as a member of the East Asia summit. It has not only accepted a “gift” of land from Pakistan, which in fact is claimed by India, but has been strengthening Pakistan militarily by providing nuclear knowhow, among other things. On the maritime front, China is steadfastly modernizing its bases in the Indian Ocean with its port development projects going in full swing in Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

India expressed its concern over China’s new underground nuclear submarine base off the southern tropical island of Hainan. The then Naval chief, Sureesh Mehta, had publicly stated that the base poses a threat to Indian security. On the Arunachal border China has been shifting border pillars and making a dam on the Brahmaputra that would be a potential threat to the Indian people. On the Sikkim border a new highway and permanent army structures have come up. In times of any hostility, the Chinese would be able to cut the Siliguri corridor swiftly. On the other side, a joint command of Lanzhou Military Region opposite Ladakh, Himachal and Uttarakhand has come up. Tibet has become the most powerful Chinese base against India and reports say that China is in a position to send 20,000 troops anywhere on the Indian border from its Tibetan bases within two hours.

By contrast, Indian politicians have no idea what should be their Chinese policy and are busy in petty domestic rumblings or totally uninformed cacophonies. Once Arunachal used to have 12c functional air strips, now it has only two and more accurately just one, to cite an example of our preparedness. It’s only after the media taking up the Chinese threat that India responded by positioning its Sukhoi war planes replacing MIGs on the northeastern front and deciding to revive its four IAF bases on the Arunachal border (Vijaya Nagar, Mechuka, Tuting and Passighat), yet the confidence level hasn’t risen high on our side.

But it would be wrong to conclude that China would engage India in any military assault soon. It would also be imprudent and pathetically unintelligent to put China in the Pakistan category. It has to be a different story – we are not “1962” and China is not Maoist either. Keeping a watch on the factual positions, building our own defence and economy, we must continue to engae China in bilateral relations.

Read the full article here.

October 14, 2009

After Pakistan,its China’s turn now!

Filed under: China — thecandideye @ 6:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The prime minister of  the country is condemned for visiting a place in his country.Nothing worse can India expect from China.China has been aggressively pursuing its own agenda ever since it waged a war against India in 1962.India has been a whipping boy for China since then and, Congress government wants to continue the same thing though our security and interests are greatly compromised.

Beijing said on Tuesday it was “seriously dissatisfied” by the visit of an Indian leader to a disputed Himalayan region, the latest tense exchange between the Asian giants over border areas claimed by both. (Courtesy: Economic Times)

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu accused an unnamed Indian leader of ignoring China’s concerns by visiting the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Ma Zhaoxu

Ma Zhaoxu

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh travelled to the mountainous state, twice the size of Switzerland, earlier this month to woo voters ahead of Monday’s state assembly election.

Beijing lays claim to 90,000 sq kilometres of land in the border state, that it sees as “southern” Tibet and had already expressed its anger about a planned visit by the Dalai Lama in November. “We demand the Indian side pay attention to the serious and just concerns of the Chinese side, and do not provoke incidents in the disputed region, in order to facilitate the healthy development of Sino-Indian relations,” Ma said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

India and China fought a brief but bloody border war, partly over Arunachal Pradesh, in 1962, and while trade between the two has since flourished, the border disputes have never been resolved.

Mistrust remains close below the surface and appears to have resurfaced in recent months. There has been a flurry of reports in Indian media of Chinese incursions along the border — shrugged off by both governments — and Delhi this month protested against a Chinese embassy policy of issuing different visas to residents of disputed Kashmir. China also protested against the Dalai Lama’s trip to Arunachal Pradesh.

It reviles the Tibetan spiritual leader as a separatist and said the trip was further proof of his scheming.

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