Saturday, March 26, 2005

Wen to take the Bangalore route

Wen to take the Bangalore route

Aviation ties between India and China are likely to be upgraded. And, Bangalore is definitely on the horizon.

Deccan Herald

The importance and attraction that Bangalore holds out to visiting foreign dignitaries never seems to end. Although almost every head of the state makes it a point to disembark on the Garden City, it is rare for them to make the IT power house their first point of call. But Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao wants to make a difference.

During his high-profile state visit beginning in a fortnight’s time, the top Chinese administrator and Communist leader’s two-day stay in Bangalore will precede his visit to Delhi. He will land in Bangalore on April 9 and stay on in the City — at a hotel and not at Raj Bhavan — that night.

He will of course have a tight schedule in the State capital. Among his appointments include visits to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Chinese multinational Huawei Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services. He will of course, call on Governor T N Chaturvedi and Chief Minister Dharam Singh.

For a change, IT majors Infosys and Wipro are not part of a visiting leader’s itinerary. Although no agreements will be signed with ISRO, the Chinese leader’s very visit to space research headquarters is considered significant as it already has a broad co-operation agreement with China on peaceful use of outer space. Interestingly, both countries are in a race to send an unmanned probe to the moon.
As for Huawei Technologies, it is China’s largest telecom equipment company. Huawei is a hi-tech enterprise which specialises in research and development, production and marketing of communications equipment, providing customised network solutions for telecom carriers in different areas.

The MNC also plans to set up a research and development centre in Bangalore. Huawei, however, was in news for wrong reasons not too long ago for allegedly helping Taliban upgrade its telecommunication network in Afghanistan.

The company denied such reports. Jiabao’s next stop, TCS, has a significant base in China and the visit to the TCS office signifies the importance that the Communist regime lays on the tie-up with one of India’s leading companies.

While resolving the border dispute with India would be the focus of Jiabao’s Delhi visit apart from his stress on improving bilateral trade which now stands at US $13.6 billion dollar, a major announcement that may be made during the visit would be in the civil aviation sector. Last week, the civil aviation secretaries of the two countries met here and declared that “while India and China fly seven flights per week from two destinations at present, the two countries have agreed to increase points of call in both countries, the number of intermediate and beyond points”.

It is said Bangalore may figure as one such destination which Chinese airlines may fly to. Until now, only China Eastern and Air India have been the designated carriers.


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