Rivals - Extras
The extract from Rivals published by The Sunday Times on March 30th 2008
India and China are booming and will shape the 21st century, but old tensions between the two could spell disaster for the region
Few of his contemporaries think of George Walker Bush as a visionary American president, unless they are using the term to imply a touch of madness. Yet early in his second term Bush launched a bold initiative to try to establish closer American ties with India, the world´s biggest democracy, in what may eventually be judged by historians as a move of great strategic importance and imagination.
It recognised the fact that while Al-Qaeda and its cohorts pose the biggest short-term and perhaps medium-term...
Indian tractors and the Nanchang ferris wheel
I told my friend, an American who has lived in Beijing for many years, that I was going to Nanchang. "Oh," he said, "I´ve never been there. Let me know what it looks like. Actually, on second thoughts, maybe I can guess." He was right.
Nanchang is the capital of Jianxi province, about 375 miles (600 kilometres) south-west of Shanghai. I was visiting in the spring of 2007 in order to learn about a tractor factory which had been bought two years earlier from a state-owned automobile manufacturer, Jiangling Motors, by Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M),...
A secret room in Shanghai
The meeting room at the steel-trading company I had been invited to visit in Shanghai in 2004 was large and quite bare, with the chairs pushed up against the walls, quite unlike the rooms typical in Japanese and South Korean companies, where the sofas tend to have anti-macassars on the backs and the walls somehow seem always to be decorated with paintings by Bernard Buffet, a postwar French artist. The art chosen by the youthful Chinese chief executive, Tang Liang, was quite different, however in a rather surprising way.
Unable to work out from the Ossen...
An essay on the global impact of Indian and Chinese companies
Although election campaigns create fears, amplify them and exploit them, often in a rather artificial way, some of the nightmares about globalisation are less ephemeral and more revealing. One that emerged in 2005 is likely to keep on recurring during the next few years. It is the fear that companies from the new Asian powers are so cash-rich and ambitious that they are going to buy up a huge pile of corporate assets in the West. There is some justification to this fear. But it tends to overlook deep distinctions between the management styles and motivations of Indian and Chinese companies, and to forget how a similar fear of Japanese companies...