Tuesday, June 30 2020 - China/India Conflict

Video Subtitles:

Wayne hello happy Tuesday everybody last
day of June June 30th almost to July
incredible I am hopping on today just to
do a little tea industry update a little
bit of news coming out some very
controversial news so I'm sure once I
share that news and give some background
information it'll get a discussion going
it's pretty juicy article I found last
night hope everybody's feeling well
again this morning I was a part of an
incredible discussion involving several
very experienced women of the Chinese
tea industry we had a lot of great
things to say hi Marco good to see you
I'm talking about some pretty
controversial politics between India and
China you know it's interesting I was
talking to another friend a little bit
of a conspiracy theorist I'll be honest
about this friend a lot of conspiracy
yes it was a wonderful talk earlier
today and I look forward to continuing
that talk but yeah I was talking with a
friend and he was giving me his opinion
that our next world war is going to be
started between China and India and
anybody keeps up with international
politics will be familiar with that
conflict as well as anybody who travels
to those areas and sees kind of the
dynamic you know especially like a
British Hawk Pradesh which is the state
of India it's the only state of India
that directly borders China when there's
tea there there's ancient tea there
there's wild ancient tea that no one
likes to talk about because it totally
downplays you know the story that that
he you know came from China
well yeah the the ethnic minorities and
the mountains there and we're in a
chopper - remind me very much of the
ethnic minorities that you encounter in
you know you feel like you're in you
none when you're there it's literally
you know ten kilometers on the other
side of the mountain and I've been there
a couple of times and going there was
always a challenge it was always like
white why do they need my passport why
do I need to need to get this special
visa to go to this state and after
visiting there and seeing how it is I've
realized that it is a heavily conflicted
area and the local people are out of it
like they're not even in it it's it's
the government sending their troops to
protect that border because it's the
only physical border between the two
countries and here and there you'll see
articles come out that talk about that
conflict and it doesn't scare scary you
know two countries that have such a you
know political resentment towards each
other and today's tea industry article
that I'll be speaking on plays on that's
a very fascinating story that was shared
through one of the tea planters groups
at a party on Facebook always a great
source of articles especially from like
the Indian newspapers or Chinese
newspapers all of them in general so
this was in the federal which is an
Indian online newspaper and the title is
Darjeeling tea gardens sell off deal
brews fear of Chinese takeover hi
Michele good to see you can't wait to
chat with you you owe me an email about
that okay so the article I shared it on
teal it's Facebook last night so if you
want the link actually I'll put it into
the comments if you want if you want to
go read it yourself the link is here
please go read it it's a pretty good
article I'll condense it down and talk
about it and actually want to do a
little like extra research on top of
what stayed in the article so supposedly
this is news to me foreign investors
can invest into Indian tea gardens I you
know in past research that I've done had
been an assumption that it was illegal
for any type of foreign entity to own an
Indian business but I guess you know
times change rules change so they do
welcome for an investment but in the
case of this situation the government
does have the power to block the
exchange of those tea board licenses
from you know company to company
especially if the government doesn't
like those investors and in the case of
this article it comes down to at the
core of these deals that are currently
under review by the government so the
government is currently reviewing these
investment deals which this is obviously
a reaction not only to pandemic but to
the instability of the tea industry
especially in Darjeeling but this is
happening all across India so they want
the they want the important phone call
right now that have them text me they
they need some capital to keep going so
you know your option is to divest you
know some of your holdings so in these
cases these are all large Teegarden
holding companies so there's two in
question here one of them is called
Alchemist group and the other one is the
Budhia group which and with Dia is a
famous tea garden of Darjeeling that has
converted to organic agriculture and has
developed prestige and has started to
acquire other tea gardens not only in
Darjeeling but as well as a song and
I've tried to do some research to find
out exactly how many tea gardens are in
both of these holdings I haven't been
able to find that out exactly so anybody
that's watching this that knows about
those two groups if you know exactly how
gardens are held by those groups that
was something that surprised me when I
first started going to India and
learning about the Indian tea industry
is that there are you know these like
behemoth companies that you know just
gobble up all the gardens and in
addition to gardening and like producing
tea as tea garden these companies will
also behave as traders so they'll be
going to the auctions and you know
buying the teas and and annex 40 of them
and and trading them and that's actually
where the money is so you know that's
kind of the trend of where it's going
why it would be optimal for one of these
holding groups to divest their gardens
is that the the guardians are not
profitable but the trading business is
extremely profitable especially when you
work in an opaque commodity system where
you know the value of the product is
more attached to the name of the brand
than it is to the product itself which
means that these large buyers these
large brokers have a lot of negotiation
power and in driving the prices down of
the tea and so that's where the money is
the arbitrage right there you can buy it
at a dollar fifty and sell it at five
like that's a pretty good deal and so
that's where a lot of these companies
are kind of veering towards the the only
one example that I know definitely that
I learned this was the the family of
copra hata
and Rohini I was very surprised to learn
that they are major brokers you know and
that was like personally a little
heartbreaking for me because they that
group was the first family to apply to
work with us and I was promoting their
garden I was promoting their stories I
was importing their t-pain a very
premium price for their tea and not
negotiating on that price and then when
I went to go visit their gardens and ask
them questions you know I wasn't getting
full honesty and was actually kind of
insulted you know that I did
negotiate they said they said yeah
everybody negotiates that's why we don't
think you're gonna stay in business cuz
you don't negotiate I was like alright
we can't work together anymore that's
not what this is about
but you know come to find out that like
most of their business is actually
coming from trading and and brokering
versus their own productions so you're
gonna see a lot of this happening of
divestment of the tea gardens and then
eventually you know shut down on the tea
gardens and that has started as well and
that's what's kind of fueling this like
new movement of small tea growers who
are like the local people that remain on
the land after these holding companies
or foreign companies lose interest and
trying to revive the tea production
business so yeah back to the article
there are three Gardens all Darjeeling
there are three Gardens within those two
different holding groups that that are
you know trying to set six Gardens total
that are trying to be sold and it turns
out that like the direct buyers like the
direct entities that want to purchase
and acquire these gardens are either
from Singapore or they're from Hong Kong
but if you dig even deeper you know you
find that the the the investors of all
of those initiatives are Chinese and so
that's where the politics comes in you
know that there's a fear of a Chinese
takeover if if these acquisitions happen
and that all reminds me of that
experience of going to a ruinous halt
and seeing how contested that land is I
can only imagine you know how contested
the politics are how contested you know
even the resources and you know China is
such a huge market they if they were to
own of their own supplies
you know as far as tea coming from India
it would be very you know optimal for
them you know I always thought that you
know Indian tea has a very strong place
in the Chinese tea market I don't know
if the you know big business that would
come and do it would necessarily be the
type of business that I think would be
good for the Indian tea industry because
they would probably just want to be
doing you know very low quality mass
production versus you know artisanal
production maybe I'm wrong maybe these
companies want to come in and and make
very high quality products of these
gardens who knows so so it's the the
alchemist group is in talks at the Hong
Kong based company and these gardens at
least for these from the opposite route
they've all been abandoned since 2017 so
they're not active gardens but I looked
into this Alchemist group they're a big
company they do a lot of things they do
a food processing and with them that
they have was mostly chicken the road
building information technology
healthcare hospitality pharmaceuticals
and steel so these is like a large
company and it's weird because on their
website like tea is nowhere on here so
when they got when they invested into
the tea industry I mean this could have
been and and
I see I don't know it doesn't say here
when those Gardens were acquired by this
alchemists group but they've been out of
production and so yeah they're ready to
divest and they would probably want to
divest to anybody and everybody said
this company from Hong Kong but the
Indian government is not going to like
that because they're interpreting that
that this is an attempt by Chinese
business to infiltrate into India of
course no one from these companies has
directly commented well Sanjay Bonsack
bunsall from a booty a group which I've
done some research on him he's actually
very well known he was the one known for
converting their garden to organic and
doing a lot of the advocacy work for the
other gardens in the Darjeeling area to
comfort over as well and not just
organic but also to like you know bio
diverse systems which we all know are
the best at least for 40 well know for
everything I think I could I could sit
and make that claim biodiversity is best
for everything not just tea Rita I think
that's what Eric wanted to call the tea
drinking and what is it it's an antelope
what do you call that thing if you look
at it in great detail it's very odd it
has two different types of horns has two
different types of arms see like one one
arm has a big hand and the other arm is
like a chicken chicken hand in the two
different legs like a dragon leg and a
horse League I don't know
I think Eric glass wanted to call it
Rita I just love how he was drinking his
tea like he's got the biggest cup and he
was just asleep nothing better to do
than sit and drink my tea anyway okay so
I guess yeah Sanjay Bonsall had
something to say of course you guys say
I don't talk to strangers that's what he
told the media so yeah I mean obviously
this is so controversial that the the
companies themselves don't really want
to speak
speak on the issues and they are talking
with a Singapore based company that
allegedly has links to Chinese investors
so at this point it is all just
allegation and rumor but it's still
pretty serious and that's why I want to
talk about today like not because you
know I have an opinion one way or
another but the fact that this article
was written in this way you know really
shows a lot about the dynamic between
the Indian and Chinese government's yeah
and then I'm Buddha I went to their
website to see which gardens that they
have oh here we go it doesn't say the
exact gardens but they currently own and
this is from an article and stir tea and
coffee by Jane Pettigrew they currently
owned 14 gardens in Darjeeling and five
and Assam that's how it works you know
like all of these different like famous
tea estates they own groups of gardens
very much like this but I guess three of
them in Darjeeling three of these 14
gardens they're ready to go the article
doesn't say if those gardens are active
or inactive or if I don't know but one
thing the article does say is that all
these gardens are located in the chicken
neck corridor which that was my first
time to hear about that the chicken neck
corridor is right near solidity I think
it's like the lower elevation land
that's very close to the dr. raw airport
which is like the main airport that you
land at to go to silly goodie before
heading up into the mountains to
Darjeeling and there are a lot of tea
gardens there the land is very low
elevation definitely doesn't seem
organic so it's possible that that's
where these gardens are but I'm sure
we'll get more information about that as
the story starts to unfold so currently
the Indian government
is reviewing reviewing these petitions
for the sale of these team pardons
and they can obviously deny it that's
the power of the Tea Board of India is
that yeah they can you know decide if
they want if they want someone doing
business or not doing business like
legally if you do not have your license
from the tea board you legally aren't
supposed to be even selling selling any
tea you're not you're legally not
supposed to be producing any tea and
oftentimes these licenses are used as
you know bargaining tools or as an
basically blooming of tea gardens I mean
I just know that's the case of you know
the small tea growers that I've had
experience interacting with in
Darjeeling you know they're trying to
get their licenses and you know get up
to date and do things right but things
get held up and you know who's in bed
with each other is the tea board and the
big established companies especially the
ones that hold the power as the traders
and the brokers and so I think that's
another reason why you see not only is
the money but it's also the power and
the influence that you have as a trader
because they I think in India those
those parties are the holding the most
power and influence you know one of the
traders and the brokers definitely not
the estate owners and I've been seeing a
lot of other articles about you know
kind of this fear of China acquiring
everything I mean here even here in the
states someone had shared an article
about 301 industry at what airlines that
like airlines are starting to do that
two Chinese companies and that's
worrying people so let's see pull a more
general article up about the well that's
nice a natural reserve would solve China
India border fights as scientists well
here's another article the next article
is world war three new flashpoint
emerges for China and India as anger
grows so now there's a naval water
because of the the border conflict
there's a trade war going on going on
here but I think I want to look at the
positive article I like being positive a
nature reserve would solve China India
border conflict well yeah and so this
this ultimately is usually and this
usually is you know conflict over
resources so you know I think last time
I was there whenever I was like trying
to understand with Rajan burrow he was
the one that took took me up to to our
own interpretation I was asking him
about the conflict like why why is there
a conflict why why is this happening and
he the Chinese bought the iron man
corporation when was that Michelle I
didn't know about that I would have
thought the Chinese I do the last thing
that the Chinese would be interested in
but yeah I know I think it's gonna be a
trend that we're gonna see and you know
rather than um rather than approaching
these topics with anger and hate which I
think a lot of people do a lot of people
do that and it leads to assumptions that
can turn even
hateful you know one this particular
friend that I was speaking to that
thoroughly believes that World War three
is going to happen as a conflict between
China and India you know also believes
that you know this current pandemic that
were in was a manufactured thing like a
biological warfare which you know maybe
it is I'm not trying to say yes or no
you know to those to those answers what
I do want to focus on is like what are
we dealing with now like so here's the
case now let's focus on that but you
know if if China is in a position of
immense power as far as like economic
power we only have ourselves to blame
for that as part of the system as part
of the system that took advantage of
low-cost labor and low-cost products to
fill inside of our Walmart's you know we
we kind of have ourselves to blame for
that not fully to blame for it but we
are part of that system basically and
you know we become angry and negative at
that then we're altom utley gonna have
to become angry and negative at
ourselves as well which is not going to
be productive so I think it's really
important to have a little bit of
empathy in the situation before
immediately charging in to anger that
you know the Chinese just want to take
over everything maybe they do that's
what you know that's what America did
for so long that's what you know so many
other societies did for so long
it doesn't last forever you know like
that equilibrium ultimately ends up
fighting itself so but I mean nothing
wrong with keeping things in check
staying informed that's what I'm talking
about this right now you know I'm not
talking about this stuff right now and
angering you guys I'm talking about it
to just let you know what's going on so
that you're not shocked because yeah
there's some very strong evidence that
there is some major resentments and fear
and inspires between these two kind
trees that we would probably usually
overlook just assume oh you know they're
third-world countries which they are but
then they aren't you know I think they
both possess nuclear nuclear weapons
they both possess very high levels of
information technology but they also do
both possess very very large disparities
and wealth and disparities and privilege
and so yeah who ultimately loses on that
or those people like where this border
conflict is happening like those are
like but quietest most humble gracious
people just live in their life
everything made out of bamboo
you know just live in their life trying
to stay focused on their communities and
there's you know a war happening just
down the road over things that are you
know completely not connected to those
fortunate things hundreds of teeth for
some tea so Michelle said that the iron
man corporation was acquired a few years
ago and that everyone was afraid when it
first happened that it would change the
dance dynamic but nothing was noticeable
great I mean that could end up being the
case with all of this all of these
stories the airplanes getting acquired
the tea cartons getting acquired is like
maybe the you know we're not trying to
change the system they're just trying to
you know they're they're trying to
develop themselves just as much as we're
trying to develop ourselves we'll have
to see ultimately I just think I think I
don't know I think a lot of things when
it comes to China it's such a complex
subject India too you know there's so
many different things within the range
of you know culture differences economic
differences you know we could we could
you're in that and perpetuate perpetuate
that fear which is only gonna backfire
on us it really ultimately right so I
don't know I think it's uh but yeah that
was one interesting thing that I learned
in that article that foreign investors
up to a hundred percent a foreign
investor can can can buy up to a hundred
percent stake in a tea garden now I
always had a very different idea about
that if you guys excuse me for a second
I have to check a message that came
the important thing about Las Vegas life
about the desert life here is my AC unit
at my house so this is not my house this
is teyla this is the warehouse and my
tea room the a/c is working here so I'm
fine just here but on my house they see
went out a couple days ago and that's a
biggie when that happens in the desert
that's a really big deal because it gets
hot and it's it's hard to live it's hard
to be and so the a/c technicians are
going to my house now to work on it my
parents are there to receive them so I
just had to text them and tell them that
we are all good to go so excuse me back
on I can sleep comfortably in my house
not like sprawled out in front of a fan
I'm trying to make it happen so Michelle
says that Iron Man was purchased for 650
million dollars who knew a race could
create that much value that is
incredible that's more than what Teavana
was purchased for Tijuana was purchased
for 640 million so yeah but I guess yeah
that's just like that's a strong brand
and a very strong network of other
brands that support it so I guess it
makes sense I wonder if they've taken
any of their events to China well I'm
sure there's probably events in China
already okay so I'm gonna go back and
read this article that I pulled up about
the positive article I love the conflict
between China and India try to find the
one okay I'm just gonna read this out
loud this is published in South China
Morning Post this is a very reputable
Chinese news source written by an
Eduardo Baptista interesting name and
this published today so brands bank
new news CHL confirms that Ironman does
do events in China that makes sense
hopefully not in any of the big cities I
couldn't imagine like having that much
exercise train with all the pollution I
definitely do an Ironman like in a
mountainous area somewhere but then were
you gonna swim
I guess that there's like a big lake or
something you could swim I don't know my
cousin's a professional surfer he goes
to a surf competition in China every
year and he says the surface great but
the environment is not good at all he
says the water is dirty the air is to me
it just looks dirty feels dirty but yeah
he says the breaks are nice you know so
far surfer a lot of times that's all
they care about so yeah I think that
like there are very few pristine no I
shouldn't say that very few cuz there's
a ton of them but they're all like up in
the mountains you've got to get away you
know get away from the city in the
mountains and then the land in the air
could be very clean crisp beautiful
actually China and India could resolve
the deadly border conflict in the
Himalayas by turning all lead suited
areas into a natural research this is a
comical article yeah that's cool I under
a lake when when each of the leaders of
the two respective company countries
read this that they got a good laugh as
well he says that both India and China
were building roads and other
infrastructure that were destroying the
flora fauna and family and mountains
range he cites examples such as the
china-pakistan economic corridor
flagship in China's belt and Road
according to Chinese premier as well as
the Indian border roads organization
that began building a road close to the
border with China and April 19 analysts
say the strategic implications of these
infrastructure products projects have
earthed both sides distributed to the
current conflict on the border known as
the line of actual control how that's
interesting and mind you this whole area
Alti lands like this was all like the
the migrant trail of of the you know
ethnic minorities the migrant minorities
that that had you know traveled via
Tibet or from Mongolia via Tibet into
you know trying to Laos Thailand you
know and India I know India often times
gets left off that list but it's very
important that you know they did travel
into that area so all of this conflict
area is ancient tea lands so yeah early
this morning on our talk you know we
were talking about you know the need of
protecting ancient tea trees you know
and who knows what kind of destruction
is happening you know in this conflict
between the two countries analysts say
the strategic implications of these
infrastructure products have urged both
sides and contributed to the current
conflict at the border
he wrote that neither side wanted war
and efforts from conservationists to
establish nature preserves in Himalayas
should be considered as a possible
diplomatic solution to the border
conflicts the Himalayas region which
includes Mount Everest is home to
endangered animals such as a Snow
Leopard and musk deer and stretches the
musk deer that's funny cut City so we
have this teeth the cuts Aditi it's a
darjeeling tea but cut City is a
Nepalese word you know Darjeeling's all
Nepal and I we received this tea and the
Negro or Caldecott City you know look
what does cut city Mia I need to tell
you know our buyers you know why you
named the tea this but he didn't really
know or he didn't know how to translate
it to me if I googled it I mean cut city
means musk deer musk deer musk what's
that and so that's like Iike highly
prized like aromatic delicacy it's like
a reserve for like a gift it's like
you know it's like you know really
highly valued smell and it's extracted
from the anus of these musketeers so
that's cool you know we all want to
smell like the butt of a deer but that
word cut City if you're in Nepal and use
that word it's a very high valued word
you know they're not thinking about the
deer butts but of course we do as
Americans we read it were like what it's
coming from the bone
anyway his vision for a giant Nature
Preserve would require the cooperation
of all these nations so it would include
China India Pakistan Nepal and Bhutan
I'm gonna pull up a map here to show
this this chicken neck so related to the
same story I seen earlier the news
article from earlier about the
acquisition of those tea gardens is the
chicken neck that's in question all
right so here we go so this is the
chicken neck silly buddy corridor
Darjeeling is up here Darjeeling and
Sikkim is up here so they're kind of
divided in half going up here in between
Nepal and Bhutan and then this is pretty
much all of a song and then our nacho
Pradesh is all up here so this whole
area here but so what the scientist is
saying is that if this nature preserve
is possible they would need the
coordination of all of these countries
including Bangladesh they would all need
to agree upon and you know take care of
this an interesting you know how close
everything is and borders themselves -
right and I think that's something that
like we in our current time should start
trying to wrap our
around see this Mac interesting that so
I'm gonna chop her - is pretty much
everything above this river this big
river right here is the Brahmaputra
that's like the I think it's the biggest
river in Asia it's huge beautiful and
your school hottie and the deep regard
is somewhere over here and you cross the
river there's a big bridge there you can
cross on your car and then you're in the
border area with China but they protect
the area well I mean it's a conflicted
area so you don't really want to get
caught up in there undocumented or
anything so yeah I hope that gives you
guys a little bit of a reference point
of of what it's like there and how all
of this area I mean and going this map
doesn't really take you there but you
can see Burma is here and then you would
if this map continued you'd see that
that you none marijuana I just pull that
how big China looks okay so here's India
you zoom in
so here's Nepal Bhutan Sikkim Darjeeling
are up in here
a song goes they're all up here and then
I wrote a chopper - it's here you see
the border it borders all the way up
here into China Tibet well that's just
China but that's so funny that's not
where's the corn I would try it did that
it's here so that's Tibet so the onliest
official border is it's here but again
that's another thing about the borders
right there like so fluid and flexible
and depending on whose politics make the
map they're gonna put that border
somewhere somewhere else but this whole
region so there's Sichuan I mean this is
all tea tea land where the origins of
tea are said to be you know I'm here
and even into Burma Laos you know they
say there's old tea trees ancient tea
trees through all this area I mean these
were migrant people and that was one
thing after I went to overawe Pradesh I
did quite a bit of research and I have
the intention of maybe not myself
writing the book but I definitely want
to support a book to be written to tell
the story of these migrant people and
where that tea seed might have actually
originally came from because when I was
in a Runa chopper - and they showed me
their tea like their old tea their their
home teeth as they called it I asked
them how long have you been making this
tea they say since the beginning of time
our family always done this this is what
we do when I say well you know do you
have stories or even folklore and your
family of you know where this came from
and they said well we do have the
folklore of where we originated from
which was Golia how long of a journey
that is nobody is here so like yeah
came from Mongolia and the TC came from
Tibet that's a bit so I think the
pathway I think there's several
different ones and there's different
like generations of migration so it's
really hard to pinpoint Oh everybody
came at this time being this pow a path
and they did this you know and and
through those different generations
evolved different cultures and so as
those cultures migrated they established
at different points but I think the the
ethnic minority and and you know it's
like a thousand years is what's kind of
known for those folks and those are like
the original you know those are like the
original T communities that we talked
about so they were here like a thousand
years and I think they were here in this
area even sooner but from what I've read
these guys settled into rich or - later
maybe you'll need like three or four
hundred years ago so you know it's
possible that the tea trees that they
have aren't as old I didn't I didn't get
to go deep into the forest myself they
had sent some children out to go harvest
the leaf the leaf was definitely looking
like it was coming from a big old tree
but a big old tree can be this evening
like you may feel oh this tree must be
so old it's so big and the tree itself
is only like a hundred years old that
happens I'd seen even ten year old trees
that I thought were hundreds of years
old it's like 10 years so you know
there's a lot of factors that affect the
size of the tree I mean really if you
want to see the age of a tree you got to
focus more on the like biodiversity
that's been you know developed on the
tree over time and also the girth of the
trunk of the tree as another way to see
the age but yeah but they said that they
think the tea seeds came from Tibet
because like from their family's lineage
story there they came from Tibet which
is actually true when I looked it up the
pathway for the settlements into this
area camp through Tibet and then they
kind of turned in and settled here
versus continuing on I think I think
everybody continued on so yeah and maybe
the seeds didn't come from Tibet
maybe they they did come because a lot
of people think that Sichuan is where it
comes from or like this area is where it
comes from and and maybe they were
passed back via tube that to these
settlers that came in regardless I'm
being a little off subject point is this
conflict between China and India is
right in the heart of of of ancient
Eiland and that's relevant to us because
we love tea you want to be here to
smooth need to me if you didn't love tea
I know I could be entertaining about
that entertaining
hi Jim yeah Kona Ironman I should do an
Ironman I've been like training a lot oh
yeah maybe I can I can get into it it's
always the bike ride that freaks me out
though I'm not good on bikes I get like
I get nervous and shaky swims I can do
long swims I can do I love it especially
the oceans let me put the bike ride
they'll freaks me out a little bit all
right I'm gonna jump back to this
article did I finish it no Eaton
definition he says I want to extend the
discussion to the entire mountainous
region of the Himalaya the trance of
Malaya and hung drawn mountains in China
and the mountain ranges of Indo Burmese
region could you imagine if this could
be you've done eight of them Michelle oh
my goodness
well you're super fit next time I come
to Hawaii maybe we can we can train
I just gotta build confidence on the
bike I don't like going fast I think
that's it right and you're supposed to
like that's like you're supposed to be
like catching up on your time on the
bike so I get scared you know at fast
fast speeds and I've had pretty bad you
know falls on on bikes especially going
down mountains and so I'm not I'm not
usually very excited about going fast on
the bike I don't like my little beach
cruiser because I wind up on a bike ride
a Santa Cruz and you've done them all
over the world that's so cool
that is so cool yeah I don't know about
an Ironman
maybe I definitely think I could do the
right is easy for every citizen easiest
part that's like the part you catch up
on your time that's the part that I'm
like them
anxious about yeah I want to see that
I'm gonna research we keep talking about
it I want to be able to say how much is
that okay so it's a two point four miles
swim okay one hundred one hundred and
twelve mile ride bike ride and a
marathon okay so it does have a marathon
in it
thank God you must be pooped after you
finish that Michelle well that's
like I know I could definitely hit that
marathon that's for sure and maybe the
swim yeah I think I could do the swim
but that bike right now
scares me because it's like a long
distance 100 100 and 14 miles so they go
to long distance so you gotta go fast
I don't like with us so then he goes on
say that these are the three most
critical global biodiversity hotspots of
immense conservation significance and
share millions of years of biotic
exchanges Chinese and Indian forces
fought a war of over the border in 1962
and smaller skirmishes and standoffs
have happened since this year scuffles
broke out between Chinese and Indian
forces on May fifth and six on the
northern shore of the Peng Gong River a
territory divided by the sino-indian
border the conflict is unusual and that
no shots were had reportedly been fired
in line with the previous argument
agreement with the two sides but brutal
hand-to-hand fighting did take place at
the Gaulle win' River Valley part of the
cart karim mountain range with as many
as 20 indian soldiers killed along with
an undisclosed number of chinese the
disputed border on the india side also
falls into the territory of Kashmir
where several wars have been fought
between India and Pakistan and so this
guy is from Kashmir the this biologist
that's proposing this
Michele you're teasing me now this is
112 miles on the bike is easy I guess so
I guess so what the heck I'll do it I
don't know when but I'll do it
I got it I got to give a body of water
to swim in though I don't even have a
pool to swim in I don't have a lotion
so yeah the bike ride in the run I could
I could train on that the run I've
definitely been training on that I've
you know I do 10 miles every time I go
out for a run I just got to bump that up
a couple more times and I think I'll be
ready for the marathon part but the UH
and the bike ran I guess I can stir I
kind of get a special bike right one
that goes fast for the hundred and
twelve miles cuz my beach cruiser not
gonna get me very far very fast I'll be
cruising like eating tacos yeah thank
you for the levity in the middle of
talking about this very intense subject
Michelle so that's good and who knew
that that the Ironman could could be a
subject of love yeah only when you
involve tacos I guess so he recalls
developing an emotional connection to
the Himalayas because it was the 24/7
overlooking my window he'd go on to
write many academic papers on the
effects of deforestation climate change
and dam construction and Himalayan
ecology militarization land-use changes
in habit destruction and fragmentation
across the Himalaya are likely to push
several species with small populations
to extinction diplomacy is their only
hope it is easy to visualize the kind of
impact the military establishments can
have in the ecological fragility
satellite images confirm that Chinese
forces have put up buildings on the
Indian side of the Golan River Valley
both sides have to play thousands of
borders as tensions escalated pandan
argued in his article that high-altitude
areas such as the gaulle one should be
free of human interference i think
that's a great idea
jim says go with the one three-wheeler
dog can go to like three wheeler eysan
like like I'm imagining three wheeler I
was like the little kids a little
tricycle thing you know I could really
cruise with that so there are other
places where people free demarcation
zones have helped wildlife recover the
most prominent example is in the
demilitarized zone between North and
South Korea a strip four kilometer wide
and 248 kilometer long it has not been a
permanent human presence since the sign
of the armed the armistice after the
Korean War in 1953 so that's good news
that there's a president of this working
you know even in highly conflicted areas
the Korean DMZ is now a flourishing site
for endangered animals such as the
Asiatic black bears and red-crowned
cranes despite being sown with mines and
hundreds of artillery and tanks facing
off on each other side on either side of
the border so they could still fight
each other just you know or they're away
from each other and all of that
biodiversity can still flourish in
between but the Himalayan border region
does not need mines to keep mutant
humans out the mountains in extreme
weather can do that and that's true the
Himalayas were the one place that the
British were not able to easily colonize
and it was because of the the rough
terrain and the rough conditions that
really only the local people that were
accustomed to those conditions were able
to to survive and thrive there
the terrain poses a problem for both
sides it's the X Factor
he said from September temperatures in
that area could drop as low as minus 55
degrees Celsius this includes areas such
as the Gowen Valley that is more than
4,000 meters above sea level
yeah this is mountainous area if both
sides don't they vacate those areas the
weather will eventually kill them but
analysts say the high altitude is
priceless precisely why China in the air
squabbling over border and what is most
uninhabitable land it's the highest
point in the world
missiles stationed in the region can
target any point of the world
so here's yeah here's the real reason we
just want to drink tea he says that the
reason the border dispute broke out was
because India was trying to get the
higher ground of the border currently
occupied by the Chinese the lack of
oxygen at such altitudes was also a
problem citing the example of the
recurring India Pakistan conflicts more
people on both sides die every year of
altitude sickness and other altitude
related or weather related problems in
direct combat I didn't know that so
there's there's some interesting
information I'm not sure what it's worth
starting a war over considering that
today we have all kinds of technical
capabilities to be able to look over a
particular help on a mountain it's funny
so that's pretty all these like quotes
in this article or like from a professor
like a history professor and a biology
professor so that's that's why kind of
the context of that funny he argues a
geopolitical interest pale in comparison
to the ecological importance of the
Himalayas noting that rivers from the
region supply water to more than 1
billion people so that's what I had
heard you know about the resources that
they wanted to like you know dam off
certain water you know for their own
depleting you know lots of people of
their water to climb the comment on
which nation is most responsible for
endangering the secrecy
so the conservationist says that all
countries need to take responsibility to
protect the region what we need to
remind the leaders of these six or seven
nations and also those beyond is that we
live as long as Himalaya lives so yeah
that's good and then there's little
video here maybe I'll play that that'll
be nice here we go
and I will post this article I'll do
this right now so it's good this was
different than the first article the
first article I posted was specifically
about the tea gardens that weren't a
question and the reason why I'm sharing
this article is they're related you know
this is giving a little bit of context
of you know why there is such a strong
political dispute between these two
which entry in Binion teacher that you
shouldn't even women cocooned do me in
going India when today
why do General Gordon tada
sure can't endure surgeon John Barton
world can band's usual create what
India is committed to the objective of
maintenance of peace and tranquility in
the border areas with China and our
armed forces who plus we follow the
consensus reached by our leaders and the
guidance provided at the same time we
remained firm in a resolve to ensuring
India's sovereignty and national
all right so yeah that just kind of gave
you some look on what's going on there
you serious stuff so that video seemed
to have built some confidence that you
know war is not you know necessarily on
the horizon but you know definitely room
to be concerned what do you guys think
of that and how do you think that this
like potential buyout of tea gardens in
India you know cuz the fatigue gardens
of India are like you know they may not
be so powerful right now as far as like
profitable business just because just
kind of locked into this immobilized
commodity system but it's pride it's a
big part of their their GDP of their
their economic development has been tea
and you know to let you know a country
that has developed this you know because
that was kind of the the vibe that I got
when I heard about this conflict when I
was there when went to over a chopper -
and I learned why we had to like get
special visas to go there and whatnot is
that the the Indian people feel that
they're being invaded you know and in
that article that I read you know they
tried to ask that professor who do you
think is responsible when the professor
was very different than I could say
everybody needs to take responsibility
which is true I mean India itself needs
to take responsibility too like all
those borders you know the border
between Kashmir and Bangladesh and
Pakistan that was all India's
responsibility you know how they set
those borders and set everything up you
know and I think that those actions
definitely affected this conflict and
what's going on but the immediate
concern is that yeah the Chinese are
like literally building infrastructure
on land that isn't there slick slowly
trying to creep up you know that's
something I heard happened happening in
you none and it nah no shine and the the
tea mountains you know I met the young
couple from Eastern leaves they actually
the wife she owns the land she owns the
lease so yeah Michele you're right the
business wants to sell and they they
don't care who buys it the money is
there they can't but in this situation
they cannot sell or actually they could
sell really they could sell it but if
the government doesn't choose to
exchange the the tea board license to
this new ownership then that new
ownership will never be able to produce
any product they won't be able to get
any value out of that investment so
that's where you know it's not this is
not just a decision between the seller
and the buyer there is some government
intervention you know in or that where
politics is going to come in you know
are they gonna deny it that article that
I shared didn't say one way or another
they just said it's currently under
review and in that like other potential
sales have never gone through that
review process like this and then the
only reason why is because it's
speculated that the core of these of
these investments are Chinese investors
so yeah they don't want that influence
there yeah
interesting stuff right
yeah and I don't want you know I don't
want us all thinking that it's just a
pandemic that's caused this to happen I
mean the the margins and everything just
like with restaurants - you totally a
lot of restaurants are closing now in
there a lot of them are citing you know
it's directly because of coded and it's
like was it you know like restaurants
were dropping like fries even arleth
rice they were dropping like flies even
before the pandemics so you know there
could be some validity to that as well
you know these businesses that are built
upon very small margins they're built
upon very low weight labor low wage
labor restaurants being part of that you
know it's it's a hard you know it's a
hard business model to sustain so yeah
this has been an interesting subject
this is probably like the most political
I've gotten I know I do like the
Constitution stuff but like for me
that's not politics that's like that's
the opposite of politics actually that's
like it's like the framework of
government the politics is what you know
is the interpretation of that and and
I'm never interpreting those things but
to talk on this you know and this
involves tea it involves the tea world
the tea growing world and you know and
especially these like ancient tea trees
that are potentially there or not there
who knows there could be tea trees that
are there that it is completely
we just didn't know a there were there
were some migrant communities that
passed through planted some seeds you
know eight hundred years ago and then
they moved on and those tea trees are
still there and in addition to those tea
trees is all the seedlings so that's
something else to think about when you
think about the lineage of tea traveling
and this is even the case in a place
that you would think most unlikely so
I'll tell the story of Hawaii I have a
couple people from Hawaii watching right
now so this will be relevant for them
there is and I have seen it I know it's
true I tasted the tea from it we
probably will never see tea from it for
a long while but there is a tea tree on
the Big Island employ that is at least
200 years old
I think where did that come from how
could a tea tree and the land that it's
on is retired sugar cane lint where
several Chinese migrant workers were
brought about 200 years ago to work
those lands so it's very likely that
when those folks were we're asked to get
on the boat to go you know realize their
new life in America and away well
actually wasn't America just yet it was
the wish that the they brought some tea
seeds with them because it was that
important to them and they planted those
tea seeds so there's this one big tree
and the people that owned that land and
possessed that tree are as of right now
currently not making tea from it and
don't have it interests and doing that
but the person that have let me know
about that they actually don't own that
land I may be a cure taker there or
something that's how I got that
information he was telling me that in
the mountain ridges above where this
land is Oh Michelle you won't find it
it's not anywhere its undocumented it's
not documented and maybe you'll get
lucky and meet those people but yeah
they're not making tea it's an old tree
but it is it's a camellia sinensis tree
that's for sure and it's old I can taste
it the tea of course came to me moldy
because the guy that made it didn't know
how to make tea but that didn't stop me
from from tasting it and and verifying
if it was tea or not but he told me that
if you go hiking you know up in the
mountains above where that land
is that there are several uncountable
number of ceilings that probably came
from that tree
you know this 200 years is that tree
growing and flowering and seeding every
year and you know birds take the seeds
people take the seeds it's somehow the
seeds end up finding their way is
another other places and then they'll
germinate and start growing and so you
know that could be the effective of T
spreading as well it's not always you
know a human a human contact type of a
thing you know and those those t plants
are the most exciting to me the ones
that have like wildly and just
authentically passed along themselves
last year I did a challenge when I was
traveling through India and Nepal I made
a challenge to the tea growers there to
produce a very special batch of tea the
second flush and that batch could have
just been one kilo it could have just
been one you know just one small amount
it doesn't have to be a big thing but I
had a buyer that was interested in
paying $5,000 a kilo for something
special and that buyer was just gonna
trust my opinion and my curation of that
and so I kind of made it into a contest
and I told everybody especially the
young guys it was like the young the
young men and even some of the young
women I think really like kind of
heart-to-heart with them about like hey
this is your chance you know to figure
out your path to tea master you focus on
something you know like really small and
really detailed and and and and very
particular that could heighten the
quality of this thing and you know I'll
make sure that you get all of that money
of this if you can make a kilo of tea
that's $5 dollars u.s. for you you know
that's huge and I was telling him to
call there are a lot of these wild
seedlings like well you're just trekking
up the mountain going from one village
in the other you'll see tea trees on the
side of the road just well growing you
know they may only
like 10 to 20 years old but they're well
growing and like complex and you can
even harvest from a single tree that's I
told my said go find these trees and
like harvest your batches from a single
tree heat that tip was so detailed that
you can really hone in on the on the
characteristic of that tea and and
process it the best thing possible so
yeah there's use for these like wild
seedlings we we harvested there was one
time we were hiking and we saw like four
very nice trees and they were flushing
nice and so we're like hey let's just go
let's go pick and keep it all separate
like let's do a premium pick and let's
keep it all separate because no one else
is gonna pick this so let's let's do it
and that we made just a very simple
white tea just dried it sun dried it
when we got to the factory and kept
everything separate and you know we
cupped those teeth oh my god you felt
like we were in the clouds you know and
even the the tea farmers you know
they're they were drinking and they got
it I'm like see this is it
this is the special thing that your
terroir has it's like in the Himalayas
it's like high elevation it's beautiful
its pristine land this is this is your
special thing you got to focus in on so
Jim says that his wife's mother born in
Hilo would pick tea at a very young age
where would she pick the tea she passed
away on choose 93 and she was picking
tea at a young age so this was like in
the early 1900s I know this would be
like in the 1930s 1940s war was tigre I
think and the 1930s and 40s Lipton was
doing their research on the date Island
then so maybe that's what it was I doubt
she was picking this tree because even
that tree would would have been huge
this 200 year old tree I'm talking about
you and that one would be huge and it
was just a single tree so it was like as
if somebody just like planted a single
you know germinated seed right there and
was just like oh right this is my tea
tree I'm happy
he said Oh at home in Hilo okay so she
had tea there he look that makes sense
he's happy in Hilo he was a good place
for tea no several nice Gardens there I
wonder whatever happened to what's their
faces garden was her name was that
woman's name mister somethin else
she had moods she moved somewhere in the
I think bond to one new two or three
can't was s called but she had nice
garden she had nice tea garden there in
Hilo she was complaining to me because
she had animals simply goats and sheeps
they were just walking around
we you know we eating and cutting the
grass fertilizing
and she said that the USDA came in and
told her she couldn't have that
Jim I'm sure you know all about that
unsanitary to have the animals walking
around your so yeah tea was introduced
in the late teen 1800s as like a
research crop by Lipton yes and so
that's what I'm thinking that maybe
Jim's mom they might have gotten plant
material from that but they this tea
tree that this 200 year old tea tree is
from at least 100 years before that and
it's also grown from seed you know by
the time lifting came they they probably
would have been more focused on the
clones I don't know what they'd be
growing from seed because the clones are
more predictable and you know easier to
manage but I looked in abandoned that
project almost immediately they were
like nope it's not gonna work
they were smart enough to make that
decision quickly visio you're competing
you're competing ah you know with
everybody else you know from other areas
where looked and had far more influence
and ability to you know plant more land
and exploit more labor you know
shouldn't you somewhere to exploit
because supposedly and the stories that
I heard of colonial British tea planting
the treatment of labour was actually
very respectable dysentery and I've read
that in a book a historian and I've also
heard that directly from you know elders
and some of the villages that I go to
when they when they talk cuz they always
like to talk they always like to talk
about what life was like before and you
know like Indian independence is only
seventy years old so if you're talking
to an elder it's possible that they have
a connection to memories or to stories
you know about what plantation life was
like before independence now they all
called it the Golden Age they said the
planters understood that if they took
care of the workers that the workers
would become more skilled and produce a
higher quality product but you know once
India cut its independence they sold all
those systems - you know wealthy
businessman Indian but of a different
caste and caste system is very important
huh that's interesting Jim I think I
know who you're talking about
someone is processing the lift and test
plot I wonder where that was Big Island
I suppose that's cool all the luck to
them I say keep with your small plot
make your small quantities it'll be easy
enough to find the buyers for it you
know you're probably not going to be
called like you know empire-building tea
grower in Hawaii I don't think you can
go into any kind of Agriculture in
Hawaii with that intention it just
doesn't work I mean even whenever they
had that intention and they had all the
influence in the government backing to
create those empires around sugar and
around I had that sugar is like the main
crop in Hawaii that really did it even
that couldn't compete even that one
couldn't continue to compete with Brazil
and lucuma and with even Florida you
know like Hawaii is a good place for
high quality small quantity high quality
high quality of life not empire building
yeah it's just it's a special place
though so how can I go to talk about
Hawaii it's been a while I'm missing it
I haven't been there for like a year and
a half in October Halloween Halloween of
19 no Halloween of 18
that's a good time it did not go to the
big island last time you went to the big
are those awesome I saw you Jim that was
in that your prior to that was a nice
time it was good to just see what you
have going on Jim I think that's the
perfect size
you know like quarter acre half acre
maybe you know maybe over time as you
develop skill and you develop you know
the confidence to be able to scale it
beyond half an acre then you know maybe
go bigger but I think you know like
these intentions of creating you know
mass production is just this doesn't it
doesn't it's like trying to fit you know
the shape into the wrong the wrong hole
you know it just doesn't it doesn't work
but yeah I've been I've been chatting on
for over an hour now I probably should
go get some work done
I wasn't like streaming a lot today well
today earlier this morning that was in
the live stream that was definitely but
that conversation I'll put the link to
that conversation is still available for
purchase you can purchase the recording
of it and I highly recommend it because
it was an incredible conversation you
know related to what I've been talking
about today but you know coming from a
different perspective mostly you know
the story of Chinese tea and of the
colonization of Chinese tea you know by
its own country by these foreign powers
but by its own country and some
government you know trying to do what it
thinks it's best for these these people
and and and this lake heritage you know
tea trees a lot of ancient tea trees
being destroyed still to this day being
destroyed for the sake of cash you know
other crops that will return the money
immediately I am just putting the link
to where you can just the replay of that
video so if you are interested in seeing
that and that included ray from grass
people tree out of UK and Linda Louie
Linda Louie from vanity company out of
LA she specializes in polarity as well
as Lisa C and she is incredible I oh it
did go I am going to recommend her book
if you haven't read it you should read
it and it's called the tea girl of
hummingbird lane it was published a few
years ago three years ago I think maybe
four years ago and I just I just read it
yesterday I know it's bad but it's okay
- everything happens for a reason
but her book is a fiction story you know
a fictional character is really great
poetic storytelling great storytelling
but it's all told in the context of
modern Chinese tea business and NT
dynamics focusing on the ethnic minority
acha people of na no Sean which is
actually the people you know that we
support you know the Lee family at their
akka and it was really cool to read her
book and and you know cuz like my only
experience has been in person when I was
on there and stayed at their home and
food with them kind of understood their
customs understanding that very
different than you know the rest of the
communities of China I've interacted
with but to read the book getting like a
much deeper understanding of the unique
culture there compared to the rest of
the China was really good but there's
like a whole bunch of background
information about how the industry works
even of a tea processing about tea
culture and the tea market and how
Yunnan itself like pretty much went from
you know ancient tea trees passed down
lineage of families and families and
family is similar to you know like
they're in a chopper - story I was
saying earlier in India - you know this
communist system where these ancient tea
trees have no value because you know
like their plantation
gardens were yielding far more and at
that time the government was supporting
a much more commodity minded
distribution system and business goal
than this leg arches and all craft and
so you know just thirty years ago it was
a very poor place Yunnan was a very poor
place no electricity and no
infrastructure and you know very low
wages for the tea that was brought to
you know the government collection
centers to like in such a short period
of time for and this had nothing to do
with government involvement I mean I
think that there would there have been a
couple of different government
involvements but it was for the most
part supported and directed by the
market you know the consumer created the
demand which then created the market
opportunity and and created the the
opportunity for these communities to
reconnect with with their roots and and
find value in the market for that so
it's a good story and it's something
that you know if that could have
happened just in the past thirty years
this is something that we can see
happening you know even in the short
term future of other you know tea
growing regions that are struggling such
as India and Nepal even Bangladesh you
know so yeah check out that panel it's
she'll be distributing you know the
recorded video on Monday and and then
you can also check out that book Lisa
sees book if you haven't picked it up
I'm highly recommending it the tea girl
on hummingbird lane very good book all
right I'm gonna go thank you so much for
joining me today
and let me get a little political a
little fun and I got to talk about
Hawaii so that's good it's all good it
was a good day I'll see you guys
tomorrow I am going to take a stab again
conscious Constitution study group I'm
actually trying to hit up the Federalist
those papers so yeah we'll see we'll see
how that goes tomorrow and then Thursday
we're doing tea talks with Sam and what
I want to do for this week's tea talks
is like have an extension of this panel
conversation so if you are interested if
you attended the panel this morning and
you thought it was inspirational and you
wanted to talk more on it we'll be
having like a casual you know tea
gathering with tea talks and you can
sign up for that at this link so you
don't miss it because it's a different
link than the this bitly link that I
have here it's different than that
you know Sam hosts it in a different
place so if you just visit this link you
can get to the tea talks sign up and get
there and we can talk more about you
know the importance of cultural lineage
and you know anti-colonialism in auntie
and the communities around tea so yeah
I'll see you guys tomorrow have a great
pure Aloha

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