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India, Israel And Iran: Three's A Crowd?

Netanyahu welcomes Modi in Israel on July 4
Netanyahu welcomes Modi in Israel on July 4
Sadia Rao

For the first time since India established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, an Indian prime minister traveled to Israel. Narendra Modi's historic three-day visit began today in Tel Aviv, where Benjamin Netanyahu personally welcomed him at Ben Gurion airport — a rare airport greeting from the Israeli prime minister.

The airport pickup signifies the considerable elevation at which Indian-Israeli relations have been lifted to. The Asian giant has traditionally walked a tightrope between Israel and Muslim-majority nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran, which have supplied it oil. India has also long lent support to the Palestinian cause, particularly under the leadership of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.

But since Modi was elected in 2014, India has grown increasingly close to Israel. The Indian government remained silent during the 2014 Gaza crisis. And now, unlike many foreign officials visiting Israel, Modi will not go on to meet Palestinian leaders in Ramallah.

Will Modi's visit jeopardize India's long-standing ties with Iran?

India's warmer ties with Israel have bolstered fears that India's large Muslim population is being sidelined in a country governed by Modi's Hindu nationalist party. Although Modi's visit is focused on trade and defense — India is Israel's largest arms buyer — Modi underscored bilateral cooperation on countering terrorism, the subtext, of course, being Islamist terror.

Will Modi's visit jeopardize India's long-standing ties with Iran? Much like India's relations in the Middle East, Iran has maintained a balancing act with India and Pakistan, India's rival. If Iran decides to exact revenge for Modi's Israel overtures by extending support to Pakistan, stability in South Asia could be called into question.

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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