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Rediff.com  » News » India hyping Yiwu incident, advisory not needed: China daily

India hyping Yiwu incident, advisory not needed: China daily

January 06, 2012 17:39 IST
Accusing the Indian government and the media of "hyping" the ill-treatment of a diplomat and detention of two Indians by Chinese traders, an official daily in Beijing criticised the advisory put out by New Delhi asking its businessmen not to trade at Yiwu citing lack of safeguards.

An editorial in the Global Times, an official organ of the ruling Communist Party of China, said Indian businessmen come on their own to trade in Yiwu and the fact that a large number of foreigners stay and do business in the trading hub, itself speaks of the security in the town. "The Indian media has been hyping the collapse of an Indian diplomat in a court in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province. Even the Indian foreign minister reacted to the news and small- scale protest movements appeared in New Delhi," it said.

The editorial said the details of the detention of the two Indians were not clear, and the fainting of the diplomat does not prove he was mistreated. "The story seems to be that two Indian businessmen owed money in Yiwu, and were, according to the Indian media, held hostage by their Chinese partners for three weeks," it said.

The two Indians -- Shyamsunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja -- state that they are employees of a company headed by a Yemanese businessman who fled China without paying the due owed to Chinese traders. The two were rescued from detention from the traders and currently recuperating in Shanghai under the care of the Indian consulate there.

The daily criticised the advisory issued by the Indian embassy in Beijing, cautioning Indian businessmen against trading in Yiwu. "The Indian embassy in China has warned all the Indian businessmen not to do business in Yiwu. The Indian media praised this announcement, and they may think that it can teach a lesson to the people of Yiwu," it said.

"The diplomat's fainting does not prove that he was maltreated. Public opinion in India is making too much of a fuss about this incident, and India's foreign ministry is surrendering to public opinion," it said.

The paper said Indians were always welcome Yiwu and other cities in China but they have to "obey rules". "If they cannot get rid of their bad habit of defaulting on debts, both Chinese and foreign businessmen will keep away from them. The international trade in Yiwu doesn't tolerate unethical business," it said.

The advisory came after a diplomat at Indian's Shaghai consulate had to be hospitalised after he fainted in court while trying to secure the release of two Indian businessmen from hostile Chinese traders, who were demanding their payment dues.  The incident had prompted India to lodge a strong protest with China and issue an advisory.

The paper said the actions of India's foreign ministry were driven by "narrow nationalism" The editorial said that the Indian official announcement portrays Yiwu as "a terrible place" even when a great deal of foreigners stay and do business there.

"... the security of the town is obvious to all... But are the Indian businessmen involved trustworthy? The conflict this time is the confrontation between nationalist sentiment of Indians and the steady market regulations of Yiwu. It is interesting to see whether Indian businessmen or Yiwu market will lose the prestige when news of this incident spreads," it said.

"Chinese society has no stomach to argue with the Indian press over this incident. In fact, without the excessive reports of Indian media and the action of the Indian embassy, the incident is only the unnoticed news in China that will be ignored soon," it said.

Stating that "Chinese society has no prejudice against India" it said "we can understand that Indian media is nationalistically hyping this dispute. However, we don't like the unjustified way in which Indian officials deal with Sino-Indian issues," it said.

"They always think Indian press is free, while Chinese public opinions should be discounted. But over the incident in Yiwu, the actions of India's foreign ministry are full of narrow nationalism, which is not much wiser than the editors of Indian media. India's foreign ministry should remember that Sino-Indian friendship needs common efforts to be maintained," it said.

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