In the seventeenth century, the British established a monopoly on the opium trade to China. Bombay, a deep-sea port, emerged as a significant opium export hub for Indian and European traders alike. In this podcast, Sifra Lentin traces the events that led to the Opium Wars.
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On November 26, the first flight took off from Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh, set up to help Buddhist pilgrims reach the Mahaparinirvana Temple, where Lord Buddha attained nirvana. Promoting India's Buddhist legacy can lead New Delhi's effort to revive diplomacy between the SCO's eight member nations.
Five hundred years before the ‘string of pearls’ or strategic naval bases surfaced as part of China’s global dominance plan, Imperial Portugal was a naval power which tried to impose its hegemony over vast swathes of the Indian Ocean. What informed this grand vision of a 16th-century Portuguese seaborne empire?
The sister cities of Mumbai and Shanghai have a shared history, population size, and economic significance. On 29 May, a roundtable between the Shanghai Institute of International Studies and Gateway House encouraged discussion on strategies to battle COVID-19, and kick-start city economies after a lockdown. Here are some workable solutions.
Bombay city has always had a soft corner for everything Chinese. It was a taste created by the early Parsi merchants, who profited significantly from the cotton and opium trade with China in the second half of the 19th century. There is no confirmed date on when the Chinese first came to Bombay, bringing with them some unmatched skills, besides their cuisine. But today, it’s a reinvigorated economic engagement: Chinese goods flood Mumbai’s markets. Chinese companies and a bank are setting up base, while Indian conglomerates, in turn, are acquiring a growing presence in China
The 200-year-old history of the Indian Chinese population – currently 3,000 – in Calcutta and Bombay shows how the two civilisations were deeply connected. Buddhism and trade forged the link in the ancient past, but a forgotten aspect is the more recent, once vibrant Chinese presence in India. The bustling China Towns of yore fell silent after the 1962 India-China war that impelled the migration of the Indian Chinese to Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. Revisiting this period can offer many lessons in cultural assimilation and diplomacy in the more fractious present
In light of our government's new understanding of the role that the sister cities relationship can play in envisioning urban projects in India, Gateway House's Mumbai History Fellow, Sifra Lentin, has readied a special report on the role and understanding of sister cities.
The recent inauguration of the New Development Bank in Shanghai has made that city a focal point of international financial transactions between the five BRICS countries. This occasions revisiting some of the ways in which Bombay has been historically linked to it
As the discussions at a recent meeting on sustainable infrastructure hosted by the Economic Policy Forum showed, many of the building blocks are already in place. The challenge now is to focus on macro public policy issues, and ask if the short-term compulsions of governments and the private sector will continue to create infrastructure that is unsustainable.
2014 was celebrated as the year of India-China friendship with many joint high level diplomatic, defence and cultural events to strengthen relations. The cities of New Delhi and Mumbai will see the debut of the Chinese Kunqu Opera to mark the close of the year