India and China have a complex and troubled modern history – including a fully-fledged war in 1962. Today Indian consumers seem to love all things Chinese, from the cheap plastic toys to smartphones and apps like Tik Tok. Some Indians think this success is a result of unfair trade. They think that Chinese imports are taking advantage of the relatively open Indian economy, while Indian companies are prevented from getting a foothold in China. This creates a huge trade imbalance between the two Asian giants. These flames are fanned by Indian perceptions of Chinese support for both Pakistan and Kashmiri ‘separatists’. An affiliate of the governing BJP party has called on consumers to boycott Chinese goods. And India has refused to sign a regional economic trade agreement to prevent China using it as a backdoor to the Indian market. Shabnam Grewal, a British BBC journalist of Indian descent, investigates the complex feelings that Indians have towards their increasingly rich and powerful neighbour – a combination of admiration, envy and even anger.
Producer: Shabnam Grewal
Editor: Hugh Levinson
(Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: Kenzaburo Fukuhara/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese Dreams: Kenya
There has been a lot of media focus on China’s investment in Africa’s physical infrastructure: but what about its play for Africa’s attention? CGTN, China’s state-run international TV station, has steadily increased its footprint on the continent from its African HQ in Nairobi – while Chinese-owned StarTimes is on its way to providing satellite TV access for 10,000 rural villages. Hundreds of African journalists have been trained in China. Does this represent a major shift in international focus, away from Western media sources (including the BBC) and towards well-funded Chinese outlets? Kenyan reporter Frenny Jowi hears of fears these developments will mean less scrutiny of China’s controversial multi-billion dollar deals with her country.
Producer: Rob Walker
(Photo: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Credit: Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Kyodo News Pool/Getty Images)
Chinese Dreams: Canada
Canada has been sucked into a global dispute between the US and China. It started in Vancouver, with arrest on an American warrant of Meng Wanzhou, an executive with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei. China’s furious response caught Canada off guard. Two Canadians have been detained in China – seemingly in response, precipitating an acute foreign policy crisis. Canadian journalist Neal Razzell examines what could be the first of many tests for this nation, in which it is forced to choose between its two biggest trading partners.
(Photo: Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to appear in British Columbia Supreme Court, Vancouver. Credit: Reuters/Lindsey Wasson)
Chinese Dreams: Indonesia
Will the rise of China help or damage Chinese-Indonesians? The ethnic Chinese minority in Indonesia have long suffered discrimination – forbidden from taking jobs in government and the military and targeted during violent riots in 1998. In the city of Yogyakarta they are still not allowed to own land. But some Chinese-Indonesians have benefited economically from the rise of China, as middlemen between the two economies. Today, 8 of the 10 richest Indonesians are thought to be ethnically Chinese. And now more and more Indonesians are studying in China or learning Mandarin. BBC Asia Editor Rebecca Henschke asks if the rise of China and the growing prominence of some ethnic Chinese will create further resentment - or if there can be a happier outcome?
Produced by Arlene Gregorius for the BBC World Service.
Editor: Hugh Levinson.
Chinese Dreams is a five-part series examining how China’s rise is affecting nations around the globe.
(Image: Favian – a young Chinese businessman, standing in the warehouse of his family’s business in the city of Balikpapan in Indonesia. Credit: Yudistira Tribudiman/BBC)
Chinese Dreams: Australia
As China grows in power, there are fears that it is trying to alter the course of Australian politics. The Australian government has legislated against "foreign influence operations" after allegations of Chinese spies making payments to lawmakers. More recently, there have been disputes on university campuses between students supporting the pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong and those loyal to mainland China – with allegations that the latter have the covert support of the Chinese Embassy. Are these genuine concerns, or are they merely the latest expression of covert racism towards Australia’s Chinese minority? Australian reporter Heidi Pett investigates for Chinese Dreams, a 5-part series examining how China’s rise is influencing countries across the globe.