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United Kingdom wants to make London as India’s “destination of choice” for raising offshore Finance, says British-Indian minister Alok Sharma

We want Indian companies and public sector entities to see the City of London as the natural home for raising offshore finance, he said

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is greeted by her Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at the India-U.K Tech Summit in New Delhi, Nov. 7, 2016. VOA
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London, Dec 14, 2016: Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi wants to ‘Make in India’. We say: ‘Make in India, finance in the UK’,” Alok Sharma, minster in charge of Asia, said in an address to the UK India Business Council on the ‘Future of the UK-India Relationship’ in London. The United Kingdom wants to make London as India’s “destination of choice” for raising offshore finance.

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“As well as seeking to expand its role as a manufacturer and innovator, India is also rightly addressing its future infrastructure and energy needs. Many of you know the staggering amounts of capital this will require – 2.8 trillion dollars needed by 2040 to invest in energy, according to the International Energy Agency and over 1 trillion dollars in other infrastructure,” he said.

According to PTI, the parliamentary under-secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Monday said the Theresa May led government wants the City of London to become India’s “destination of choice” for raising international funds.

”We want Indian companies and public sector entities to see the City of London as the natural home for raising offshore finance – for quasi-sovereigns as well as corporates.”

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British-Indian minister Alok Sharma, sought to clear up what he described as “mis perceptions and misconceptions” around the issue of visas.

“First of all, there is no cap on the number of international students studying at recognised institutions in the UK. Secondly, we continue to welcome students from India – in the year to March 2016, we approved 89 per cent of Indian student visa applications,” he said.

According to PTI, India is the only country where applicants can obtain a same-day visa and Indian citizens enjoy greater access to application centres than anyone else. “We naturally want our visa regime to be as simple and efficient as possible. But we must also ensure that people return to their country of origin once their visa has expired.” To ensure that the visa regime does not hinder the commercial relationship, he said the British government wants India to be the first country to be offered the “Registered Traveller Scheme, giving business traveller’s expedited clearance at the UK border.”

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India last month was “no coincidence” that it was her first overseas bilateral visit outside the European Union as PM. “It signaled the immense value we place on our existing partnership with India and the potential we see to enhance this unique relationship in the future,” he said.

The Conservative Party MP pointed to the UK as India’s largest major investor, is responsible for employing one in every 20 Indians and second largest international employment generator and India as the UK’s third-largest investor – responsible for over 110,000 jobs in the UK.

– Prepared by Ruchika Kumari of NewsGram. Twitter: @RuchiUjjaini

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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.