If you are rich, it can open many doors, especially in a developing nation. This is what the Chinese officials discovered recently when they wanted to visit El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay and Chad. China’s state controlled China Mobile Communications Corp is on a $5.3 billion dollar deal to buy Millicom International Cellular SA of Luxembourg. Chinese officials had to visit these countries to study Millicom’s finance and operations. Not having a diplomatic presence was a hiccup, but it was soon overcome by talking directly to the President or the concerned minister in each of those countries.
Then not all developing nations are the same. According to a new Wall Street Journal article, Indian Govt. has been treating Chinese businesses with suspicion. When China’s Huawei Technologies wanted to establish a new facility to make telecommunications equipment, permission was denied. Both China’s ZTE Corp and Hutchison Whampoa from Hong Kong were denied permission to do business. China’s CIMC-Tianda was allowed to setup air bridges in certain airports, but then were not allowed in some other airports.
The article suggests that Indians do not trust the Chinese because of the 1962 war. That is partly true. The two nations have not gone for war for more than 40 years and since time heals all wounds, the relationship should have gotten better. That may not happen since there are many reasons to remain suspicious of Chinese intentions.
The Indians have more reasons to worry that America and Europe due to the proximity and the semi-hostile relationship. China’s “managed proliferation” to Pakistan has not really helped smooth relations. The aggressive nature by which China is going on surrounding India also does bode well in improving confidence. Unlike other nations, most of China’s companies are state owned and may have more than business interests in mind.
With its new wealth, China has been inventively building trade and transportation links to further its larger interests. Such links around India
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>>There are some areas which are sensitive like ports and airports.
Communications industry is also one of the most sensitive areas for a nation’s security.
Sometimes even friends might like to evesdrop on the conversations as proved in a recent wiretapping case in Greece (on vodafone network) which apparently had some links to the US intelligence.