A Peek Into Everyday China : How Does an Elephant Look by Lt Gen P R Shankar (R)


A couple of years back, new items about India were far and few in the South China Morning Post. While it was mostly about China and how great it was and is becoming,  the news from South China Morning Post was balanced to some extent. As days have gone by, it has become Sinicised the Xi Jinping way. It subtly plays the party tune. Off late I see more news about India appearing on this platform. Naturally,  the Chinese are worried that there is a new elephant in the neighbourhood which is not amenable to Chinese methods. In fact what the Chinese do not know is that the Indian elephant it is not amenable to its own methods. Despite, not having good wiring between its brain, body and limbs, the elephant moves in the right direction inexplicably. 


All of a sudden every international shyster who stayed away from India is discovering the strength of its democracy, vibrancy of its diverse people and the huge human capital it possesses. While most of such flattery is opportunistic, there is an element of truth in the India story as it is emerging. That has caught the Chinese attention. When stories of India appear in quick succession in South China Morning Post, it is time to take a look and decipher the intent. Read the excerpts of the recent stories and make up your mind. If you want to read the while story click on the headline. My mind is at the bottom of the shack.    


Headline : US, not China ‘real challenger’ to New Delhi’s Indian Ocean interests

Excerpts : ‘More common interests than differences’ between the Asian neighbours, Chinese military strategist tells King’s College seminar…The two sides ‘should view each other’s development with open minds in the advent of an Asian century’..New Delhi should not see Beijing as a challenger to its interests in the Indian Ocean, despite the dispute in the Himalayas that “cannot be resolved in the foreseeable future…India must recognise that China’s naval activities in the Indian Ocean would inevitably become more frequent…To safeguard China’s growing interests in the Indian Ocean and maintain the security of strategic sea lanes, the Chinese navy must maintain or even strengthen its presence in the Indian Ocean…It is only a matter of time before a Chinese carrier strike group appears in the Indian Ocean…friction and even conflict between the two sides is possible if [New Delhi] regards the Indian Ocean as the ‘Great Ocean for Hindus’ or India as a ‘net security provider’ for the Indian Ocean”….Zhou urged India to understand that it shared more common interests with China than differences and said the two sides should view each other’s development with open minds in the advent of an Asian century


Headline India has a US$1.2 trillion plan to snatch factories from China

Excerpts : Hope is an initiative called PM Gati Shakti will fast-track projects to give India an advantage, especially with China mostly closed to the outside world…Asia’s third-largest economy offers cheap labour, and a talent pool of English-speaking workers, but rickety infrastructure may keep investors away…Fast-tracking projects will give India an advantage, especially with China still largely closed to the outside world and companies increasingly adopting a China-plus-one policy – finding other countries to expand in or source from – to diversify their businesses and supply chains. Asia’s third-largest economy not only offers cheap labour, but also a talent pool of largely English-speaking workers, even though rickety infrastructure keeps many investors away.


Headline : Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi says it will protect business interests after India froze US$682 million in assets

Excerpts : Over 84 per cent of 55.51 billion rupees seized in India was a royalty payment to US chip giant Qualcomm, the company said…Xiaomi is a leading smartphone brand in India, but it has become harder for Chinese firms operating in India since a 2020 border clash…Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp on Sunday said it was “disappointed” with an Indian order that froze US$682 million of its assets and would continue to protect its interests….An Indian appellate authority on Friday confirmed an April order by India’s federal financial crime fighting agency, the Enforcement Directorate, to seize 55.51 billion rupees, saying a probe found Xiaomi had made illegal remittances to foreign entities by passing them off as royalty payments.


Headline : China’s zero-Covid pursuit has seen stocks plunge US$5 trillion since 2021, benefiting India

Excerpts : Beijing’s zero-Covid pursuit, regulatory crackdowns and tensions with the West have led to a US$5 trillion rout in Chinese stocks since early 2021…Indian stocks, meanwhile, have kept hitting record highs thanks to an unprecedented retail investing boom…The relentless plunge in China’s stocks has burnished the appeal of their biggest emerging-market rival India, spurring a divergence that is rarely been seen before…The MSCI India Index rallied almost 10 per cent in the just-ended quarter, compared with a 23 per cent slump for the MSCI China Index. The 33-percentage point outperformance by the India gauge is the largest since March 2000….Beijing’s zero-Covid pursuit, regulatory crackdowns and tensions with the West have led to a US$5 trillion rout in Chinese stocks since early 2021. And India – long dubbed the “next China” – has become an attractive alternative with economic growth that is forecast to be the fastest in Asia. In the longer term, China’s decoupling with the US may also pave the way for Indian firms to boost their presence worldwide. Regardless of how the Chinese market performs…Plc.’s Kristy Fong said India’s attractiveness to global investors remains a long-term trend. As a stock market, India is home to some of the highest quality companies in the region, with some of the most capable management teams anywhere in Asia,” she said. “Segments where India excels include financial services, consumer goods and services and healthcare.”


Headline : With eye on Beijing, India and US make a show of unity amid fissures

Excerpts : US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar affirm cooperation in the Indo-Pacific..The joint appearance comes a day after Jaishankar criticised the US for its package to upgrade Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet fleet..A day after fissures reappeared in US-India ties, top diplomats from both countries struck a cordial tone on Tuesday in a show of unity with an eye on China – a common challenge and competitor in the Indo-Pacific.

Headline : India launches 5G services in what Narendra Modi calls a ‘step towards the new era’

Excerpts : Much-awaited services aim to provide seamless coverage, high data rate, less delay in internet connectivity and highly reliable communications…Launch in selected cities expected to cover entire country over next couple of years…Modi launched the much-awaited services that aim to provide seamless coverage, high data rate, less delay in internet connectivity and highly reliable communications in the presence of India’s telecoms leaders in New Delhi.


Headline : India offering US$550 million incentives to woo Apple, tablet makers, to challenge China’s production base

Excerpts : India has been ramping up efforts to attract global firms through initiatives, as China’s allure wanes due to political tensions and its Covid policy…India wants to boost production of tablets and laptops to cut imports and make the country an export hub in the longer term


Headline : China risks being ‘isolated’ from rest of the world, says India’s Gautam Adani at Forbes Singapore Conference

Excerpts : Adani says China’s ‘increasing nationalism, supply chain risk mitigation and technology restrictions’ is likely to affect connectivity with other economies…Asia’s richest person says China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which was supposed to demonstrate its global ambitions also faces resistance..During his 30-minute keynote address, Adani, who has an estimated net worth of US$142 billion, also painted an optimistic picture of India amid challenges facing the world, including implications arising from the Ukraine warclimate change and soaring inflation.


Headline : Indian millennials use music to save traditional languages, one note at a time

Excerpts : Many of India’s languages are slowly dying due to globalisation, easy access to the internet, a lack of script and dependence on oral traditions. As many as 197 Indian languages are endangered and vulnerable according to Unesco.


My View : The Chinese have clearly started seeing India as a competitor. They do not acknowledge it publicly. That would tantamount to admission of weakness. However they are still fixated that they are the centre of Asia and in time they will be the centre of the world despite their inevitable decline. When they talk of an Asian century, they are referring to the Chinese century. When they talk of cooperation between Asian neighbours, it implies that India must bow down to the Chinese and toe their line. They will make all effort to drive a wedge in the Indo US cooperation. They will try their best to portray that Indo US ties are not in India’s interests. They will use the Pakistanis as the wedge to separate India and the US. While they  will write about India’s successes, they will also portray India as still the land of snake charmers and naked fakirs. In all this, they will always reinforce that China and Chinese companies can do no wrong and are not liable to local laws when they carry out mass fraudulent and cheating activities. After all, China has the sole proprietary over international cheating. I expect more of such biased coverage coming out of China in forth coming times…remember…come what may…the Chinese do not consider India as anything but its underling…The reality is otherwise….the Chinese are however living in their own alternate reality spun by their self-crowned emperor for life.    


2 responses to “A Peek Into Everyday China : How Does an Elephant Look by Lt Gen P R Shankar (R)”

  1. Despite, not having good wiring between its brain, body and limbs, the elephant moves in the right direction inexplicably. 😀 laughing out loud. Such a beautiful way to describe the Indian Elephant…Reminded me about the definition of complex systems . I see this “inexplicable” movement in the right direction as an emergent property:

  2. 🙂 I would say inexorably!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: