Jose John February 28, 2016 No Comments
ASIA – A FORCE TO RECKON WITH Mainstream politicians usually cling to the safety of ba­nal utterances over candid remarks. However, Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, falls into the category that insists on plain speaking at the risk of courting controversy. Recently, the attitude of immigration officials at Heathrow attracted his ire. At a conference to promote London as an investment destination, the mayor lambasted the officials for their shoddy treatment of Indian and Chinese visitors. Has Livingstone raised an important issue? Yes, since the underlying reasons behind his criticism have a deeper reso­nance in today’s changing global context. The western im­agination has long perceived societies in Asia as backward, inefficient and static. But the immense economic transfor­mation currently underway in India and China offers a firm rebuttal to this stereotypical assumption. More importantly, globalization is triggering a discern­ible shift in the international balance of power. In its early phase, globalization was spearheaded by the West. With the rapidly growing economic and political clout of India and China, this is no longer the case: The centre of gravity is moving eastwards. Once branded infamously as an “area of darkness”. India is now the second largest source of all new foreign investment in London. With more than a trillion...
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