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Flights booked, visa demand hits peak

world Updated: Jan 14, 2008 01:31 IST
Amit Baruah

In 2007, the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi issued 92,000 visas, a 27 per cent growth from the previous year. In 2007, the Indian Embassy in Beijing issued 51,000 visas while the Shanghai consulate issued another 20,000.

Flights are full and small traders from India are traveling to all parts of China. Whether trade is driving travel, or vice versa, the fact remains that more Indians and Chinese are moving between the two countries.

Resident Indians

Indian professionals, first sighted in Hong Kong and Singapore, started moving to Shanghai and Beijing about a decade ago. Just as southeast Asia saw a new breed of Indians in banking and IT, China, too, is seeing the same. The Indian Embassy estimates around 25,000 Indians are living in China, of which some 600-700 live in Beijing.

Open up your TV, cinema

Zee TV boss Subhash Chandra told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to use his good offices to help open up Chinese television cinema to Indian companies. Chandra’s Zee is keen to begin beaming to China.

Apparently, Chinese television channels have been allowed to downlink into India and Chandra, in the company of other leading Indian businesspersons, wanted that Beijing extend the same facility to Indian companies as well.

Learning Hindi in China

There are about 100 students in the Hindi department of Beijing University. Jiang Jingkui, head of the department said: “Bharat aage badh raha hai, ek naya kendra ban rahaa hai,” Jiang said.

Books written by leading Hindi writers like Prem Chand, Agyeya and Jainendra Kumar are available in Mandarin, but more translations are needed, he adds in chaste Hindi.