India can develop manufacturing ecosystem faster than China

Posted By: Tarun Kumar Posted On: Sep 08, 2023
Foxconn Chairman Young Liu (PTI)

Foxconn Technology Group chairman Young Liu has backed India as an important country for the future of manufacturing, saying that the opportunities for development of electronics manufacturing and industrial chains was very huge.

Speaking to media at a group event in Taipei, Liu said that India would be able to build the ecosystem faster than China, which took 30 years, on the back of experience and new technologies such as AI.

“Some of India's development over the past few years, everyone can see that. The time has about come for India's turn to start to fully develop as a country. If there's no big change, India will be a very important country in terms of manufacturing in the future," the chairman said.

“In the past, it took more than 30 years to build an ecosystem in China. Of course, it will also take an appropriate amount of time in India, but because it has appropriate experience, the time will be shorter, so it will have many similar situations to those when China was developing but it will be different from 30 years ago. The environment is not quite the same. At that time, there was no generative AI, or even AI, but now there is AI. Can its (India's) development be entirely inferred from part history? I don't think its perfect to speculate from history but we feel that development of the entire ecosystem and industrial chain, and the opportunities for development in India are very huge opportunities," Liu said.

His comments come at a time when India is attempting to position itself as an alternative manufacturing destination to China, and supplier in the global value chains, amid geo-political tensions that were leading to global companies shifting some of the manufacturing capacities out of the country. The South Asian nation is wooing global IT, electronics as well as semiconductor players, with schemes such as production linked incentive scheme and broader enabling policies which would give them a combination of talent and skill base besides a local vibrant market for sales as well as a base for exports to global markets. The initiatives appear to be attracting companies like Foxconn, with the group's India arm having applied as one of the 40 companies – alongside HP, Dell and Lenovo – for availing the incentives under the PLI scheme for making laptops, PCs and servers.

In July this year, while addressing SemiconIndia 2023, the chairman said that he was optimistic about the direction of India's semiconductor roadmap and asserted that Taiwan would be India's most trusted and reliable partner. “IT is India and Taiwan. Let's do this together," he had said. Foxconn has been operating in India since 2005, and has been making smartphones for Xiaomi over the past couple of years. Of late, the largest contract manufacturer of iPhones in the world is already the largest maker of iPhones in India as well. Foxconn is also applying for setting up a semiconductor manufacturing plant in India.

Chairman Liu was also reported to have said in the second quarter earnings call that the company's Indian arm has achieved a turnover of close to $10 billion on an annual basis, and that there is a lot of investment potential in India. He had said Foxconn operates nine campuses in India, across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It intends to expand its presence through manufacturing campuses in Karnataka and Telangana.

Indian government officials said that the Foxconn chief had backed PM Modi's Make in India and that reforms and policies in India had created huge opportunities for the development of the entire electronics manufacturing ecosystem.

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Maldives' presidential poll tomorrow

Posted By: Pawan George Posted On: Sep 30, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest at President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih swearing-in ceremony after his surprise victory in 2018. Photo: AP

Maldives, the picturesque archipelago in the Indian Ocean, will hold a high-stake run-off presidential election tomorrow – the outcome of which will not only be closely watched by its populace of 500,000 but also India and China, the two Asian powers considered to be vying for geostrategic presence in the region.

Ties with India and China is said to be weighing heavily on the postal ballot choices, experts said, as the key contestants have brought geopolitics into the centrestage of their electoral campaigns.

While incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has strengthened the country's bonhomie with New Delhi in his five-year tenure so far, the opposition camp led by rival presidential candidate Mohamed Muizzu have sharpened their anti-India rhetoric, and hinted at restoring the strong pro-Beijing ties that existed between 2013 and 2018.

Solih, who heads the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), had secured 39 percent votes in the first round of polls held on September 9. Muizzu, a former mayor of capital Male who now heads the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), had bagged 46 percent of the electoral share.

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Since neither of the candidates could cross the 50 percent-mark, a runoff poll featuring only Solih and Muizzu in the contest was scheduled for September 30. Although the latter had a 7 percentage point lead over the sitting president, experts said that the contest will be extremely close as Maldives has only 283,000 eligible voters, and the two leaders were separated by only 15,000 votes in the first round.

What's at stake for India, China

Former Maldives president Abdulla Yameen had, during his tenure from 2013-2018, took a step away from traditional benefactor India and steered the island-nation towards China. Male become a member of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), signed a free trade agreement with it, and was reportedly exploring a security and strategic tie-up which could have given the Xi Jinping-led regime an edge in the region that is crucial for east-west maritime trade.

Turning towards China meant a steady stream of foreign investment inflow, as Beijing pumped in billions of dollars into the country's infrastructure. Among the marquee projects developed using Chinese funds is the $200 million bridge connecting capital Male with the international airport. The project was executed under Muizzu's watch.

The Yameen-led government, however, came under intense criticism for taking hefty loans from China. Maldivian officials who spoke to BBC said the country still owed $1.1 billion-$1.4 billion to China as of 2020.

The Chinese “debt trap", along with the accusations against Beijing of attempting to interfere in the country's governance and undermining its sovereignty, was among the factors that led to Solih's surprise victory in the 2018 polls.

Since Yameen was voted out, Maldives renewed its strong ties with India. But this came at the cost of distancing away from Beijing, analysts underline. After Sohil's victory, India had offered an assistance of $1 billion to repay a part of the Chinese debt.

India is said to have invested an estimated $2 billion in the country's infrastructure in recent years, in the form of loans and grants. Solih's defeat could nullify the efforts undertaken by New Delhi to increase its influence, and could instead propell Beijing as the country's primary benefactor, experts said.

?India first? vs ?India out?

Solih's government, however, drew flak from the opposition over his foreign policy that has been described as “India first". The policy began drawing criticism in 2021, when Maldivian defence force said about 75 Indian military personnel were located in the country to maintain and operate an aircraft that was provided as an aid in 2020.

While New Delhi maintained that the aircraft was to only be used for relief and rescue missions, and emergency evacuations, the opposition alleged a conspiracy to meddle in the security affairs of the island country. Yameen, in 2022, launched an “India out" campaign, alleging that the government had become a “puppet of a New Delhi" and was allowing the stationing of Indian military personnel on the country's soil.

Solih had banned the campaign, calling it baseless and a "threat to national security". However, the opposition succeeded in escalating the anti-India rhetoric.

Yameen could not enter the polling fray as he has been convicted in a money laundering case. Muizzu, however, is considered as his close political ally and received his backing for the presidential campaign.

According to Ahmed Shaheed, a former Maldives foreign minister, the election outcome could be a setback for India if Solih loses. Although the opposition would not snap ties with India as indicated in their sharp rhetoric, but they would try to balance the equations between New Delhi and Beijing, he suggested while speaking to The Guardian.

“Even if there is a government change, India will likely remain a very strong partner," he said. However, considering the amount of investment made by New Delhi over the past five years, “it's all for India to lose rather than China to gain."

A section of analysts, however, doubt whether Muizzu, if elected, would remain equidistant from the two Asian powers. A potential pro-China shift in foreign policy was indicated after he had, in an online meeting with Chinese Communist Party representatives last year, said his party would “script a further chapter of strong ties between our two countries" if it returns to power.

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Diamond industry grapples with major slump in demand

Posted By: Jogendra Kumar Posted On: Sep 28, 2023
Nine out of 10 of the world?s rough diamonds are cut and polished in India. (Mint)

India’s diamond cutting and polishing trade is facing an unprecedented crisis amid falling demand, prompting trade bodies to ask members to halt the imports of rough stones for two months.

This is the “worst-ever demand crisis," said Anoop Vrajlal Mehta, president of Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), India's hub of diamond trading with the rest of the world. This is just the fifth time since the 1970s that trade associations have made such an appeal to members to halt imports.

The country cuts and polishes nine out of 10 of the world's rough diamonds, providing employment to two million Indians. So far this financial year, exports are down 30.27% from a year ago to $7.03 billion, the worst fall in at least five years.

Demand has collapsed in China, which is battling an economic slowdown after a property bubble burst. In the US, another key market, consumers are shunning luxury goods amid high inflation fuelled by an easy monetary policy during the pandemic. China accounts for 13% of polished diamond exports from India and the US 45-48%.

“Polished diamond prices have fallen by 15-20% from a year ago," said Mehta, who is also chairman and managing director of Mohit Diamonds, one of the 38 Indian sightholders of De Beers. Sightholders are companies authorized by De Beers to buy rough diamonds.

What's worrying is that the fall in demand seems to be structural, with prices for natural diamonds (as opposed to lab-grown diamonds) collapsing by 59% in the past three years, according to a report by Edahn Golan Diamond Research.

“In China, because of a general economic slowdown…offtake has completely ceased, and the US is seeing around 5-10% dent in demand because of tighter monetary conditions," said Vipul Shah, managing director and chief executive officer of Asian Star, another De Beers sightholder.

Shah said a recovery from this demand downturn “seems more difficult" compared to past instances.

Low demand has led to a pile-up of inventory, and thus the call to halt imports, added Shah. “That's why we need to balance the supply-demand dynamic and take a call on the evolving situation by November end."

Industry associations such as the commerce ministry-sponsored Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), BDB and Surat Diamond Bourse have called for a halt on imports of rough diamonds from 15 October to 15 December by their members. Previous instances of such import interruptions include Saudi Arabia's oil embargo in 1973, the 1992 balance of payments crisis in India, the 2008 global financial crisis and in 2019 due to a slowdown just months before the pandemic.

The outlook, too, is none too promising with order books for cutting and polishing down compared to a year ago.

“The domestic market is doing well, but wherever the economy is struggling, exports are not picking up," said Shah, who is also chairman of the GJEPC. Traditionally, gems and jewellery demand picks up ahead of the festive season, but that is not happening this year.

India imports rough diamonds from the likes of De Beers, Rio Tinto and Russia's Alrosa. The imports flow through BDB, from where they are shipped to Surat Diamond Bourse, where cutting and polishing happen before polished diamonds are re-routed to BDB, from where they are exported to the US, Hong Kong and Belgium.

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Pleasures of Dealing with China is That

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Sep 27, 2023

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New York on Tuesday spoke about New Delhi's growing profile on the world stage, breaking down India's steady ties with Russia since the 1950s, the “pleasures of dealing” with China, and growing relationship with the United States.

Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, the minister talked about India's vision and strategy in dealing with the multipolar world. In a conversation with former US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster, Jaishankar said, “You actually see an India whose footprint is more, whose interest and activities are more.”

Jaishankar said the nature of world politics has changed and the issues have changed, adding that there are a variety of issues driving “heightened Indian activity” on the world stage. “The goal is now to strive to be a developed country in a quarter of a century,” he added.

Jaishankar opened up about the ongoing tensions in India-China ties. He said, “One of the pleasures of dealing with China is that they never quite tell you things. You often end up trying to figure it out. There is always ambiguity out there.”

“It has never been an easy relationship. There was a war in 1962 and military incidents after that, but after 1975, there has never been a combat fatality on the border. In 1988, we normalized the relationship more when then-Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi went to China. In 1993 and 1996, we did two agreements with China to stabilize the boundary which is disputed. At the Line of Control (LoC), it was agreed that either of us would mass troops there. If we brought more troops, the other side would be notified. So, it was expected the way it was laid out. There were subsequent agreements after that, one in 2005 and one in 2012,” he said.

On the Galwan border clash in 2020, the minister continued saying, “It was in many ways a very unique situation because what would happen in the boundary areas is that troops on either side would step out of their military bases, they would do their patrolling and go back to bases. If they happened to intersect, there were very clear rules on how they would conduct themselves.”

On the state of current ties with China, the external affairs minister said, “It's hard to be normal with a country that has broken agreements and done what it has done. For the last three years, there has been an abnormal state, contacts have been disrupted, visits have not taken place, and there have been high levels of military tensions. It has also impacted the perception of China in India. This perception was not positive in the 1960s and 1970s. I think there is an immediate issue, a medium-term issue, and a possible long-term issue.”

When asked about India's relations with Russia given the no-limit partnership between Beijing and Moscow, Jaishankar said, “Because its relationship with Europe has been so severely disrupted, Russia is turning to Asia and other parts of the world. I would predict that Russia would make strenuous efforts to build alternative relationships, many of which will be in Asia. This would reflect in the economy and trade and perhaps in other domains as well. Russia-China would have a particular profile and particular salience in this. But I would say that our own relationship with Russia has been extremely steady since the 1950s.

If you look at the last 70 years of world politics, Jaishankar said there have been very big ups and downs in ties between Russia, the US, China, and Europe. “But the India-Russia relationship held very very stead. There is an understanding between the two countries. There is a kind of structural basis for our having to get along and wanting to get along. And we take great care to make sure the relations are working,” he said.

Asked about the limits of the US-India partnership, he said, “Rather than limits, I would put it as possibilities. Let's take a more optimistic view of how relationships work.” “My sense is that the United States is fundamentally readjusting to the world. It is doing so part of is long-term consequences of Iraq and Afghanistan. But that's only one part of it,” he said.

Jaishankar suggested that the US is adjusting to a multipolar world. “We will actually be looking at a world and probably entered that world where the United States is no longer in a way of saying, okay I basically… leave it at my allies. Quad itself is a demonstration of that,” he added.

Where India-US ties are concerned, the minister said the convergence today far outweighs the divergence. “I am no longer prepared to think that where are the limits but I think where are all the opportunities and how much we can step on the gas and take up forward,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Jaishankar addressed the 78th UN General Assembly, and called on UN member states to resist “political convenience” in their responses to terrorism and violence, in an implicit criticism of Canada. He also said that respect for territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs must be universal.

Source: News18

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Uyghur Kids Separated from Parents

Posted By: Tarun Kumar Posted On: Sep 27, 2023

Uyghur children in China's Xinjiang province are being forcibly removed from their parents and sent to re-education camps styled as boarding schools where they are being raised as ‘orphans', Uyghur activists speaking to CNN-News18 said.

“Their parents are taken away to concentration camps and treated like prisoners. These kids are losing their identity and no one is talking to China except issuing statements,” a Uyghur activist said.

The Uyghur activist also noted that the United Nation expressed concern over the allegations of Xinjiang's state-run boarding school system where children are taught in Mandarin language and are being forced to adopt Han cultural practices.

“The UN statement is welcome but the UN is not clearly talking about concentration camps.

“We are deeply concerned that boarding schools in Xinjiang are teaching almost exclusively in the official language with little or no use of Uyghur as medium of instruction and that the separation of mainly Uyghur and other minority children from their families could lead to their forced assimilation into the majority Mandarin language and the adoption of Han cultural practices,” the UN experts said this week.

They flagged that forced separations and language policies for Uyghur children carry risk of forced assimilation. They pointed out that the discriminatory nature of the policy and the violation of minorities' right to education without discrimination, family life and cultural rights will adversely impact the growth of these children.

UN experts found out this week about large-scale removal of children, mainly Uyghur, from their families this week. Among those children, some of them were very young. The parents of these younger children are in exile or “interned”/detained.

These children are placed in full-time boarding schools, pre-schools, or orphanages where the medium of instruction is almost exclusively Mandarin.

“Uyghur and other minority children in highly regulated and controlled boarding institutions may have little interaction with their parents, extended family or communities for much of their youth,” the experts said

“This will inevitably lead to a loss of connection with their families and communities and undermine their ties to their cultural, religious and linguistic identities,” they further added.

The report also revealed that these children placed in these schools have little or no access to education in the Uyghur language. They face pressure to speak and learn only Mandarin as opposed to achieving bilingualism in both Uyghur and Mandarin. Teachers who may inadvertently use Mandarin as a medium of instruction are also sanctioned for using the language outside of specific language classes.

Source: News18

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China's Stand on Ukraine Conflict 'Affecting Country's Image'

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Sep 25, 2023

China's stance on the Russian war in Ukraine is affecting the country's image, the European Union trade commissioner warned on Monday, saying Beijing's refusal to condemn the invasion poses a “reputational risk”.

China has sought to position itself as a neutral party in the Ukraine conflict, while offering Moscow a vital diplomatic and financial lifeline as its international isolation deepens.

Russia and China frequently tout their “no limits” partnership and economic and military cooperation.

China's position “is affecting the country's image, not only with European consumers, but also businesses”, Valdis Dombrovskis said in a speech in the Chinese capital.

“Territorial integrity has always been a key principle for China in international diplomacy. Russia's war is a blatant breach of this principle,” Dombrovskis added.

“And, China always advocates for each country being to free to choose its own development path.

“So it's very difficult for us to understand China's stance on Russia's war against Ukraine, as it breaches China's own fundamental principles.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping made a state visit to Russia in March and declared that relations between the two countries were entering a new era.

His Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin is due to visit China next month.

Source: News18

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iPhone 15 sales take off

Posted By: Ajay Rawat Posted On: Sep 23, 2023
Demand for the priciest iPhones costing as much as ?2 lakh remains much lower than that for standard iPhones. (Bloomberg)

Sales of Apple’s iPhone 15 series smartphones kicked off on a strong note in India on Friday, with at least three retailers complaining of a shortage of top end Pro and Pro Max models.

“We are seeing strong first-day sales of the new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. However, we haven't managed to fully cash in on the general demand, as supplies of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are short right now," said a multi-brand phone retailer from Kolkata, requesting anonymity.

Similar shortages were reported from Delhi and Mumbai as well. A major multi-brand retailer in Delhi said that sales of the iPhone 15 series on the first day were “better than last year's", though the Pro models quickly went out of stock.

Following last year's iPhone 14 launch as well, there were limited supplies of the top models in November and December, leading to long waiting times. However, the previous shortage was sparked by a covid-19 outbreak in the iPhone factories in China, which doesn't trouble the supply chain any more.

However, retailers attributed the iPhone Pro stock-outs to poor supply, not excess demand. Demand for the the priciest iPhones costing as much as ₹2 lakh remains much lower than that for standard iPhones.

“Demand for the iPhone 15 Pro series is much less than the standard iPhone 15 models—for every 10 Pro iPhones sold, we're seeing orders for at least 80 standard models," the Kolkata-based retailer said.

This is in line with historical demand for the iPhone Pro models in India. According to data from market researcher International Data Corp. (IDC) India, the Pro models typically account for around 15% of all iPhone sales in the country, and it's the same this year as well.

The retailer, however, added that Apple has been more proactive about supplies this year. “Our second and third batch of orders are already in line—the second order for supplies is set to be approved today itself, while the third round is expected to be approved and processed by Apple by Monday. Until last year, this used to take up nearly 10 days for every round of orders," he said.

Manish Khatri, a partner at Mumbai-based retailer Mahesh Telecom, however, said overall demand is tepid. “Supplies of the Pro iPhones are low, leading to the devices being out of stock at the moment. But, this is not due to higher-than expected demand. More consumers are inquiring about the older series of Apple's iPhones, and they are likely to await the rollout of festive season offers before we see consumer demand ramp up," Khatri said.

An email query sent to Apple remained unanswered. Analysts expect the company to record its highest-ever shipments of over 9 million units of its iPhones in India this year. Even though this is still around a third of the overall shipments of market leader Samsung, it is expected to help Apple potentially capture the top spot in smartphone market revenue in India this year.

Apple's revenue market share is expected to be driven by its high average selling price (ASP) of its smartphones, which exceed ₹80,000 per unit sold, as compared with an industry average of around ₹20,000 per unit. On 4 August, Apple Inc.'s chief executive Tim Cook said the company achieved “strong double digits" growth to report record revenue in India for the June quarter. “We also opened our first two retail stores during the quarter. And it's, of course, early going currently, but they're currently beating our expectations in terms of how they're doing," Cook said.

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The disappearance of China’s defence minister raises big questions

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Sep 21, 2023
Chinese defence minister Li Shangfu (Photo: AFP)

An ability to groom talented officials, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, once said, “largely determines the rise and fall, as well as the survival or demise" of political parties and countries. After a sweeping reshuffle of ministerial posts in March, the government’s main news agency, Xinhua, recalled Mr Xi’s words in an article aimed at showing how meticulous the selection process had been. Since late June, however, two of the most senior officials who were promoted in that shake-up have disappeared: first Qin Gang, the former foreign minister, and more recently General Li Shangfu, the defence minister. The swiftness of their apparent downfalls has been striking. The questions they raise about China’s politics are big.

There is no sign that this is an existential moment for the Communist Party, or Mr Xi's rule. Adulation of Mr Xi continues unabated in state media. He stayed away from the G20 summit in Delhi on September 9th and 10th—an unprecedented absence. But on September 16th and 17th Wang Yi, who succeeded Mr Qin as foreign minister in late July, met America's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, in Malta. According to Bloomberg, they discussed a possible meeting between Mr Xi and President Joe Biden at a gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders scheduled for November in San Francisco. China's military activities appear unaffected, too. On September 17th and 18th about 100 Chinese fighter jets flew round Taiwan, an unusually high number in such a space of time.

But the churn at the highest levels of the state and military apparatus has been unusually fast, even by the standards of Mr Xi's purge-filled tenure. General Li has not been seen in public since August 29th, when he appeared at a China-Africa security forum. He was supposed to attend an annual meeting with Vietnamese defence officials on September 7th and 8th. But that plan was scrapped, with Chinese officials citing the general's health. Unspecified illnesses seem to be a common problem for those in political trouble. Mr Qin was said to have a health problem, too. But according to the Wall Street Journal, senior Chinese officials were told in secret last month that he had “lifestyle issues". They allegedly involved an extramarital affair, resulting in the birth of a child, while Mr Qin was ambassador in Washington before becoming foreign minister.

On official websites, no change has been indicated in General Li's duties. But American and other officials have told Western media that they believe he has been relieved of his duties. Reuters reported that he was suspected of corruption related to the procurement of military equipment, which General Li oversaw from 2017 to 2022. The news agency said that eight senior officials from the procurement department were also being investigated.

There is also speculation that graft is a reason for the replacement in late July (announced in state media) of General Li Yuchao and General Xu Zhongbo. They were the two most senior commanders of the Rocket Force, which controls China's nuclear and conventional missiles. General Li Yuchao had been put in charge only last year. A less high-profile but equally unusual personnel change came to light on September 1st with the dismissal of Major General Cheng Dongfang as president of the People's Liberation Army military court after just eight months in the job. No reason was given. General Cheng had previously served as spokesman of China's military garrison in Hong Kong.

On Chinese social media, censors have stifled most discussion. Only one comment is visible on the post of a user with more than 670,000 followers who hinted at the defence minister's absence. “Aren't you afraid of having your account closed down?" it says. “Don't talk about him." But given Mr Xi's efforts to portray China's political system as a more stable and effective alternative to liberal democracy, the purges have provided rich pickings for his foreign critics. On X (formerly Twitter) America's ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, compared the turnover to Agatha Christie's novel, “And Then There Were None". He later offered another literary analogy: “As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark'."

To be sure, the posts of defence minister and foreign minister are not as critical in China as they often are in other countries. Neither General Li nor Mr Qin are among the 24 members of the Politburo, the apex of political power. But the ministerial jobs involve defending the country's interests abroad. (In China's eyes, Mr Qin's alleged behaviour may have made him a security risk.) And the purges raise questions about Mr Xi's ability to select the right talent and his capacity to scare officials into avoiding corruption.

The moves have targeted people who were clearly Mr Xi's men. Mr Qin's elevation to the rank of foreign minister was unusually rapid, suggesting he may have impressed Mr Xi during a stint as the chief organiser of his foreign trips. He was promoted last year to the party's Central Committee and in March got the additional title of state councillor (a senior role in China's cabinet). Only four others hold that rank, including General Li. The defence minister is also a Central Committee member and one of the six officers who work under Mr Xi in the armed forces' governing body, the Central Military Commission.

Team of no rivals

General Li and Mr Qin were among many people close to Mr Xi who benefited from the reshuffle in March as well as another one last October involving party jobs. The overhaul produced a ruling team more seemingly in lockstep with the paramount leader than any since the era of Mao Zedong. In China, questions will certainly be asked (in whispers) about how stable it is.

But Mr Xi must be used to muttering. His previous purges have affected hundreds of thousands of officials, high and low, including many in the services most vital to maintaining the party's grip on power: the armed forces, the police and the spy apparatus. Many of the fallen have been accused of corruption, but some, too, of political wrongdoing. Last September courts imposed lengthy prison sentences on several security chiefs accused of being corrupt, as well as members of a disloyal cabal. They included a former deputy minister of public security and a former justice minister. In 2015 Zhou Yongkang—a retired head of China's internal security services and former member of the Politburo's Standing Committee—was sentenced to life in prison for bribery and leaking state secrets. Mr Xi accused him and other jailed associates of attempting to “seize power".

If General Li Shangfu is replaced, as observers expect, there could be an upside for America. Last August, in response to a visit to Taiwan by the then speaker of America's House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, China halted regular talks between the two countries' defence establishments. America is keen to restart them, seeing them as useful for discussing ways of preventing unintended clashes. But while working in procurement, General Li was placed under American sanctions in 2018 for buying fighter jets and missiles from Russia. China wants the sanctions to be lifted before talks resume. Removing the man himself may resolve an impasse.

© 2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. The original content can be found on

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Bussiness Balrampur Chini Mills posted strong Q1 results on Saturday as their profit jumped a whopping 493% to touch ₹73.5 crore during the quarter ending June 2023. During the same quarter last fiscal, the company posted consolidated net profit of ₹12.38 crore. The revenue of the company rose 28% from ₹1,094.
Bussiness The price of gold marginally dropped on Thursday, with the cost of 1 gram of 22 carat gold declining to ₹5,495 from yesterday's ₹5,505, as per the figures released by Goodreturns. Accordingly, the price of 8 grams of 22 carat gold also decreased to ₹43,960 from the previous figure of ₹44,040, marking a p
Bussiness Reliance Industries Ltd, India's most valuable company, has sought shareholder's approval to give Mukesh Ambani another five-year term as chairman and managing director of the company till 2029 -- a period during which he has opted to draw nil salary.
Bussiness In order to settle the pending contractual disputes of government and government undertakings, the finance ministry has launched the ‘Vivad se Vishwas II – (Contractual Disputes)' scheme, according to an official statement released on Wednesday. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharam announced th
Bussiness IT electronics refurbishing firm NewJaisa Technologies's initial public offering (IPO) will be open for subscription on Monday, i.e September 25. The company aims to raise ₹39.93 crore through its IPO. The issue will close for subscription on September 27. The company's IPO had opened for anchor investors on Friday. The fresh issue size is of 84,96,000 equity shares at face value of ₹5 each.
Bussiness The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of the Pilot Project for Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit by Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBI. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of the Pilot Project for Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit by Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBI.
Bussiness India's foreign exchange reserves jumped $708 million to $602.161 billion for the week ended August 11, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Friday. This is the first increase in the kitty after declining for three consecutive weeks. In the previous reporting week, the overall reserves had declined $2.417 billion to $601.453 billion.
Bussiness Gogoro In, a global technology leader in battery-swapping ecosystems that enable sustainable mobility solutions for cities, today announced a vehicle partnership with Swiggy, India’s leading on-demand convenience delivery platform. Gogoro In, a global technology leader in battery-swapping ecosystems that enable sustainable mobility solutions for cities, today announced a vehicle partnership with Swiggy, India’s leading on-demand convenience delivery platform.
World Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday aiming to strengthen his country's air power, a day after a “heinous" Russian missile strike killed seven people and wounded 148 in Chernihiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday aiming to strengthen his country's air power, a day after a “heinous" Russian missile strike killed seven people and wounded 148 in Chernihiv.
Latest News NEW DELHI: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Saturday said, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) should continue to hold global significance for being the most populated marketplace, driven by the knowledge, creativity and innovation economy.
Latest News The incident took place on Sunday at the Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois. The incident took place on Sunday at the Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois. The incident took place on Sunday at the Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois. The incident took place on Sunday at the Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois.
Technology The approach of Digital Public Infrastructure, which has gained global prominence, can also help in the area of climate adaptation and mitigation going forward, Chairman and Co-Founder of Infosys and the founding Chairman of UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani said on Sunday.
Latest News Sunny Deol's Gadar 2 craze has truly gripped the nation with fans thronging to cinema halls in large numbers. The Anil Sharma directorial also managed to collect around Rs 39 crore on the day of the release, making it the second highest grosser of the year after Pathaan. Celebrating this tremendous res
Life Style Disha Patani went out for a dinner date with her friends last night. The actor got clicked by the paparazzi outside a restaurant in Mumbai. Known for embracing risqué fashion statements, Disha slayed another look for the outing. She wore a golden mini dress featuring intricately-placed cut-outs. Sc
World China has released a new documentary about the army's preparation to attack Taiwan and showcasing soldiers pledging to give up their lives if needed as Beijing continues to ramp up its rhetoric against the self-ruled island. China has released a new documentary about the army's preparation to attac
Politics Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar's 18 member cabinet took oath on Thursday. The cabinet will see Pakistan through their upcoming elections at a time the country has been hit with economic and political crisis, considering former Prime Minister Imran Khan has also been arrested.
Latest News If you think you are a hawk-eyed person who is skillful at spotting animals or birds camouflaged in plain sight, then here is an image that will leave you entertained. This picture shows a snake hidden in a pile of dry leaves. Do you think you can spot the reptile in a few seconds?
Latest News Harry's, a prominent American brand known for men's grooming products, has found itself at the center of a heated debate after teaming up with trans man and digital creator Luke Wesley Pearson for a Pride-centered promotion. Pearson's Instagram reel unveiling the collaboration garnered both prai
Entertainment Dulquer Salmaan is getting rave reviews for his new series Guns and Gulaabs. During a recent interview with BeerBiceps' YouTube channel, the actor recalled an incident in which he was inappropriately touched by an ‘older woman'. Dulquer said that after she grabbed his a***, the actor was in pain. He called the experience 'awkward and very bizarre'. Also read: Dulquer Salmaan leaves fans worried as he writes ‘I haven't slept in a while,' deletes it later