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“Great Wall of China” Spl. article by Vasan. Suri

“Great Wall of China”

The Covid-19 fear, Panic, spread and deaths have crippled the total Country and all over the World.


Let us all follow the dictum and directions of our State and Central Governments and remain inside our home till the Virus gets eradicated.

Our State and Central Governments are doing an exemplary job and with the selfless sacrificial support of all the Doctors, Nurses, Support Staffs, Police and other essential services.

We should also appreciate the fact that, all political parties are now united in fighting the Virus. The common enemy has made all religious heads to see a reason to unite.

Meanwhile, there have been a lot of news and videos on social media about China’s intention and how the Virus spread was brought under control that too it affected only a part of China and rest of China is normal and regular work is on.

Series of events came in to my mind. I have been traveling to China from March/April 1988 for sourcing raw materials (wet blue leather) for our production. Before visiting China, I visited the APLF (Asia Pacific Leather Fair) at Hong Kong.

During this Fair, I could see that lot of American, European and English Companies have invested and started operations in China for Leather Products and they were looking for good quality finished leathers.

Looking at the number of enquiries on my first visit to Hong Kong, though our Company was strong in Germany and UK, I was more than happy.

I requested my company to participate in the next Leather Fair which was happening at Shenzhen in June, I suppose. Somehow, my inner mind started telling that China will be the Future and I should find ways to settle down at Hong Kong / China and learn their language.

Incidentally, the organising committee manager at Shenzhen came with a proposal to marry his sister during the Shenzhen Fair as she had fallen in love with me while working with me as an interpreter for 4 days during the Shenzhen Fair.

When I came back and told this news to my Boss, he rejected it totally that China will emerge as World Leader and said that let us concentrate on our European orders as we were running with full production capacities. We were producing 20,000 pairs of shoes per day during that period and I was the head of operations (South).

Within two years, in 1990, our German Office started telling that Chinese manufacturers make better shoes and at much cheaper prices than India.

Very quickly, the first came in the form of leather garments made of pig leather against Goat / Sheep leather garments from India. The whole garment industry was taken aback and orders came down.

The second problem came in 1993. This time all our cotton bags have gone to China as they were cheaper and this was a big business.

In 1994, I could see lot of carriers have developed to move goods from China to India via Hong Kong. They all used to stay at the Chungking Mansion at Hong Kong.

I used to get to know from them that they get very cheap products from China and dumping them in to India such as Batteries, Small electronic articles, toys, jean trousers and T-Shirts were being carried by these people and they were growing.

In 1996, China entered the shoe market of India and used to send samples free of cost and shipments on CAD basis.

I had a friend, an English Professor, from China who could help me to translate during my travel in to China and was looking at Opportunities and used to be surprised at the growth rate and its speed.

I remember a low rung China in 1988 and within the next 8-10 years they have grown unbelievably big, with skyscrapers and roads, motor ways and fly overs.

China’s growth was appalling.

In 2002, during my first visit to Iran, I was surprised by the demand for Electric switches made by General Electric. Though, my business was only leather & leather products, the enquiries for American products from Iran made me puzzled. Iranians were very strong in their minds to use only American or European products.

The same situation changed in 2008, as the Chinese were there everywhere. They have been able to handle the payment problem with Iran as they were under sanctions through many other routes and hence Iran was comfortable with China.

In 2002, I have brought in my Chinese professor friend to my home as he was on a business trip to Mumbai for meat purchase, rather the bye product of the meat industry, ovaries of the animals. When he came to my Residence, he saw the pictures and idols our and the glowing lamps were hanging above them.

He bought some pictures of Hindu Gods and went back to China. During my next visit to China, he gave me the self-lit pictures of our Hindu Gods. He said why to have the two – the God and the lamps and made a combined one, self-lit God and I appreciated his business acumen.

I had an opportunity to visit the Canton Fair somewhere in 2005 and was surprised to see that the Chinese were selling lungis, Tasbee, as well. By this time, it was clear that they will make anything that can be sold in another country.

By 2008, they were in to India selling Lord Krishna on Gokulashtami and crackers for our Diwali. The colourful nature of those crackers and the Krishna moved our people and whole India got flooded.

By 2010, India has already started using anything and everything of Chinese made and Indian manufacturers were all dumped. The reason for such problems was shut and pushed back as WTO requirement.

Due to my regular visits to Iran and having established my connection with domestic brands there, many people were looking up to me for sourcing support.

There was an order for denim trousers from Iran which was huge and Indian price was double than China. Iranians were comfortable in only working with India and by this time China had made their students to learn at least one foreign language and that eased the business community to travel and further Muslim restaurants and halal food helped the travel.

I was representing a Chinese company to buy raw material from Nepal and during the visit to India, the Chinese Boss was requesting me to arrange Indian Leather Technologists for processing their leather and production.

Due to the proximity of India and China, European chemical companies induced Indian Leather Technologists to go and work and set the process in China and China learnt it the easy way to produce leather and later Brazilians and Italians kept China as their base.

China’s growth around the World was phenomenal and they were traveling to every country and making commercial and business arrangements in those countries. The ease of doing business helped countries like Africa to go behind China.

Unfortunately, having all talents and possibilities of development, Indian entrepreneurs did not get enough support from the red tape Government.

Why these technical people left India? Just for making more money and settling abroad where things were felt to be more systematic.

I know a business house trying to break the exodus by paying good salaries and jump, but by this time people have become too selfish and money minded.

Listening to the recent speech by an American senator, he asked the senate house that, their mobile phones, belts and shoes were coming from other countries and their Country’s manufacturing is totally lost.

Any American or European Brand is expensive but, you have a Chinese make which is much cheap. No doubt the whole World went behind China and opened their market.

The senator asked that they will not get any medicine as they are totally dependent on China. He also mentioned about the technological advancements and 5G Technology and quantum computers already coming into effective use in China which will make China to listen to even the American President talking with his Defense personnel.

This is similar to the situation of East India Company coming and capturing every part of the World in the East.

American President, Donald Trump was an enigma for China as his policies were all anti-Chinese and he wanted duties to be increased on the imports from China. This affected their trade very badly. Similarly, our PM Modi started advocating “make in India”, which further irritated the Chinese. We all realize now the importance of that statement by PM Modi.

The closeness of America and India was not a Welcome situation by China and China already surrounded India with the help of Pakistan, Nepal and Srilanka. Of course, their entry into our North East Province was well protected by our Government.

Now, I leave it your conclusion on what is happening today, which Countries have stopped working and how is China running. China fears America and India and they know that Europe will support India and hence, totally crippled the operations.

All countries are today dependent on China for even masks and ventilators or testing kits and Medicines.

Every other country’s manufacturing units have closed down due to this unfair The Covid-19 fear, Panic, spread and deaths have crippled the Countries all over the World.

Every other country’s manufacturing units have closed down due to this unfair Competition over the last 2 decades from China.

It is still not too late that, we all should first get rid of this virus from our system, use all our intellectual ideas as to how we will handle our strengths and come out stronger after the lockdown period.

China may have moved some smart steps in the early days but, the right intention and good thinking only will win.

“Nadenna seidathu namakku ena kelvigal ketpadhu edarkku. Nee enna seidhai adharku, ena ninaithal nanmai unaku” – these were verses from our Great MGR song. The meaning in English – why do you ask that what the Nation has done for you; you will only benefit if you ask yourself what you have done to the Nation.

Secondly, Rajnikanth, the Super Star, South India cine actor, says in the film “Basha”, Kettavanuku Aandavan kuduthitte iruppan aanal, Kai vittuduvan. Nallavanai Eppodhum Kai vidamattan. The meaning in English – “God will be going on giving to the bad person but finally He will let him down; God will go on testing the good person but He will never let him down.”

We all are God fearing people, may be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh or of any other faith, and that is why we are less affected and our Government could act in time.

The American senator said that, while the fight was on in America between the democrats and republicans, China kept their eyes only on their growth.

Same way, let us all unite to first fight the Covid-19 and then prove the World that we are a stronger Country and will come up triumph, over the last 2 decades from China.


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