Not Your Tibetan Buddhism


Far from being easy to grasp and anodyne, Tibetan Buddhism is rich in tantric practices, the impenetrably esoteric ideas and techniques used to try to slingshot spiritual seekers directly towards the enlightenment they seek to attain within this lifetime to best help others.

Read Here – Aeon

Western Philosophy Is Racist


Mainstream philosophy in the so-called West is narrow-minded, unimaginative, and even xenophobic…how else can we explain the fact that the rich philosophical traditions of ChinaIndia, Africa, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas are completely ignored by almost all philosophy departments in both Europe and the English-speaking world?

Read Here – Aeon

Disruptor Or Disrupted: The Story Of Global R&D


Given a choice of being the disruptor or the disrupted, many would prefer to choose the former. But it’s not as easy as just flipping a switch and subsequently reaping the benefits of a forward-looking vision, new product categories, and forthcoming patents. Instead, an organisation has to proactively acquire this innovation and intellectual capital from somewhere.

Read Here – Visual Capitalist

Why Are China’s Venture Capitalists Going Gaga Over A Tibetan Pilgrimage Film?


A birth, a death, a pilgrimage. A film about the 1,200-mile journey of a pregnant woman, a butcher who wants to atone for his sins and a rag-tag band of villagers who go on foot from their small village in Tibet to the sacred Mt. Kailash has become a surprise winner at the Chinese box office. It has also found a cult following among an unexpected audience — China’s venture capitalists and startup founders.

Read Here – Caixin

This One Is Scary


The last paragraph of a fascinating book on what is the world’s biggest problem — population.

“Over the next 15 years some 2 billion new babies will be born, 2 billion children will need to commence school, and 1.2 billion young adults will need to find work. In addition, the fastest-growing age group globally will be over 60s. Acknowledging the importance of age-structural change, and ensuring that it is integrated into national and international policymaking, will be essential as the globe transitions from a predominantly younger to a predominantly older world.”

We all need to think about this one.

(Excerpt from: How Population Change will transform Our World by Sarah Harper)

Will China Find The Next Tutankhamen In Egypt?


It has been nearly a century since the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the burial place of King Tut in the famed Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

That was the first, and as yet the last, fully intact tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh to have been found. While archaeologists have kept digging since, they have not discovered any that hasn’t already been ravaged by gravediggers in the ancient times.

Now, it is the turn of the Chinese to try their luck.

Chinese archaeologists are expected to start digging in Egypt for the first time, as authorities of the two nations are in discussion of a cultural cooperation project, Xinhua reported.

Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences will collaborate with Egyptian experts to carry out archaeological excavations, cultural relics protection, and safety monitoring and control in key sites in Egypt, Wang Wei, director of the institute told.

The institute will also train Egyptian experts in protecting archaeological discoveries.

“This will be the very first time that two of the four ancient civilizations join hands in archaeology — it could be a milestone in the history of bilateral cultural exchanges,” said Wang.

“Working in Egypt, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, is a dream and an honor for most archaeologists,” he said. “We will likely start with the Egyptian temples.”

Egypt has conducted more than 200 excavation and cultural-relics protection projects with foreign institutions, but none of them with China.

Chinese archaeological teams own the world’s leading three-dimensional remote sensing and three-dimensional imaging technology, as well as advanced indoor testing and analysis techniques, said Wang.

China also has rich excavation and research experience with large-scale historical sites, like big cities and palaces, which could help Egypt.

Dragon Flu | For A Global Power, It Is Necessary To Speak


The inability of the world’s second-biggest economy, its representatives and its leaders to communicate and interact with the world is plain bad news for everybody. If you are not able to tell your story, people tend to make up their own tales. Perceptions matter and as Beijing would know, the Chinese aren’t the most loved people in the world.

Read Here – BusinessWorld

India May Not Like It, But Sri Lanka Can’t Move Completely Away From China


Buried under billions of dollars of Chinese debt, Colombo has little option but to go along, albeit at a pace slower than earlier. After all, Chinese money did prop up the war-battered economy and created jobs. and this did help the government in ending the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The Chinese know that while the wicket might be sticky at this point, the pitch will eventually help the ball turn their way.

Read Here – The Wire

Dragon Flu – Is It Just A Sneeze Or…?


China has been the elephant in the room since Lehman Brothers folded up, triggering the last wave of global economic turmoil. It stood out as the biggest contributor to global growth in the past eight years. But now the bubble, long expected to burst due to a mammoth build up of debt, is popping the wrong way.

Read Here – Businessworld

It’s always long term for China


Pragati

By Rahul Sharma

There is nothing to be excited about Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to skip Pakistan during his forthcoming South Asia tour. Some might argue that it would have been a good time for Xi to land in Islamabad to show support for the country roiled by political uncertainty, but let’s be clear that the call to stay away does not reflect any change in relations between the two long-standing friends.

Xi is due to visit India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives later this month, trips during which he will test prime minister Narendra Modi’s keenness to improve trade ties between the world’s two most populous countries and reaffirm Beijing’s deepening ties with Colombo that has attracted vast amounts of Chinese investments in its infrastructure.

Ties between India and China have always been testy given the border dispute that saw the two go to war back in 1962. Frosty relations have thawed in recent years and trade between the two neighbours has grown, but there is still a long way to go before any degree of mutual trust can be established.

Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj said this week that while Modi and Xi had established good relations when they met at the BRICs summit in Brazil soon after general elections in India, she also made it clear that Beijing had been delivered a strong message that it had to respect the “one-India policy (which means no claims on Arunachal Pradesh) given that New Delhi recognised Tibet and Taiwan to be part of China.

One thing India and its diplomats can be clear about is that his decision to skip Islamabad from his tour does not mean China is ready to dump Pakistan. Usually Chinese leaders club their visits to India and Pakistan, but all that a de-linking this time around could possibly do is give New Delhi temporary comfort that at this point it figures higher in Beijing’s priority than in the past.

One thing India and its diplomats can be clear about is that his decision to skip Islamabad from his tour does not mean China is ready to dump Pakistan. Usually Chinese leaders club their visits to India and Pakistan, but all that a de-linking this time around could possibly do is give New Delhi temporary comfort that at this point it figures higher in Beijing’s priority than in the past.

China seldom takes a short-term view of the world, and has clearly defined its relations with other nations on the basis of its long-term goals and needs. A recent info graphic in Global Times, a Chinese government-run newspaper, provided a view of how Beijing divides its worldly ties.

China essentially follows four partnership models: creative partnership, comprehensive cooperative partnership, strategic partnership (of cooperation) and comprehensive strategic partnership (of cooperation). The difference, according to the newspaper, is that while cooperative partnerships are formed at a fundamental level, are bilateral in nature and focus mainly on politics, economics, science and technology and culture, the strategic partnerships can be both bilateral or multilateral and are based on benefits of national security.

While one would imagine that diplomacy and foreign relations are usually dynamic in nature and, therefore, likely to change depending on circumstances, in China’s case one can merrily assume that any shift will only be snail paced with little or no change in the foundation. Foreign policy, like so many other things in China, can be rather nuanced and small variations in definition of relationships can mean a lot more than what the world outside may understand.

So it is interesting to see that China clubs the European Union and most large European nations except Germany and Russia as those with which it has a comprehensive strategic partnership. With Germany it has an “all-round strategic partnership” and with Russia it is in a “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination”

With India, Afghanistan, South Korea and Sri Lanka, Beijing shares a “strategic cooperative partnership”. That means it sees all of them through the same prism, an idea that may not appeal to India, but might go down well in Kabul and Colombo.

According to the Global Times, China’s ties with ASEAN, central Asian republics, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and some East European countries are seen to be one of “strategic partnership”, while those with Nepal, Congo, Bangladesh and some other key African nations fall under the head “comprehensive cooperative partnership.”

The emerging great power rivalry with the United States and the old, historic unhappiness with Japan has led China to define its relationship with these two very differently than those with other nations of the world.

It calls its engagement with the United States a “new model of major-power relationship”, which means Beijing definitely sees itself in league with Washington, an idea that obviously reflects on its relationships with other capitals. In short that means that while China is willing to engage with all, it doesn’t consider anyone a bigger rival than the United States. Countries such as India are, therefore, mostly marginal to China’s larger cause.

Similarly, its defines ties with Japan as a “strategic relationship of mutual benefit.” Given the huge bilateral trade and Japanese investments in China even as the two battle over a gory past, the definition makes sense.

Pakistan is the only country with which China has an “all-weather strategic partnership of cooperation.” In layman’s terms, it simply means that Beijing considers its relationship with Islamabad over and beyond its ties with all others. The phrase “all-weather” is key; China might be willing to shift gears either way in its relations with other countries, with Pakistan it will always be an even ride just as it has been for the past several decades.

Let’s not forget it was Pakistan that essentially helped Beijing open its door to the world in the 1970s, an event that has now propelled China to almost become the world’s biggest economy. China never forgets its friends and that’s a thought Pakistan can live comfortably with irrespective of whether it has a democratically elected government or army rule.

It’s also a thought India’s new government needs to keep in its mind while dealing with Beijing and Xi, the now all-powerful man in China.

Rahul Sharma, a former newspaper editor, is President, Rediffusion Communications, Mumbai; Secretary, Public Affairs Forum of India, and a keen foreign policy follower. Views are personal.