Apart
from getting his family tax affairs in order, Rupert Murdoch has been
busy over the past week straightening out a few other pressing issues
in the world – like China and India.

During a week-long
diplomatic visit to China, the world’s most powerful media owner was
encouraged by the world’s about-to-become most powerful country to make
“more substantial efforts to enhance mutual understanding between China
and the rest of the world.” To which Rupert informed the Chinese
government that his company planned to “further strengthen cooperative
ties with the Chinese media, and explore new areas with an even more
positive attitude.” Read more here.

Then
the Murdoch Boeing 737 jetliner headed for Mumbai’s Sahar International
airport on the first leg of his first visit to India for four years. We
know the media maven “remains shipshape and does not lose that
competitive edge” because he travels everywhere with his personal
trainer. Read the story here.

In aninterview
with his own Star News in India, the Sun King delivered his views on
India and its future. “Naturally, as with all politically led
governments, foreign investment is the slowest in the media section.
Politicians are somewhat paranoid about the media but we still think
it’s worthwhile,” he said. Asked to compare India with China, Murdoch
was blunt: “In China, there are fewer barriers, government has central
planning, they release the people in many ways to start their own
business. You go to Shanghai which I have been going to and to Beijing
for 20 years – and every couple of years that I go there I am amazed at
their physical growth. But when I come to Mumbai, it still looks the
same. In the road from the airport to the city, you see so much of
poverty and people living in conditions that really make you feel
ashamed.”

And yesterday Murdoch had a ritual meeting
with the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who was urged by the
media baron to “further liberalise” foreign direct investment (FDI) in
the Indian media.

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Peter Fray
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