China denies being harsh on Indian envoy

April 3rd, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) China Thursday denied it was harsh on India’s Ambassador Nirupama Rao when Beijing protested against Tibetan activities in India last month. “I can responsibly say that what has been reported on this matter is not correct. We have treated your ambassador (Nirupama Rao) very respectably and we have a very good working relationship with your (Indian) embassy in Beijing,” Chinese ambassador Zhang Yan said here.

“I can assure you that nothing as depicted in the media has happened,” he told reporters at the embassy which has become a fortress after disturbances in Lhasa last month.

“We don’t think it is a big issue. It is a very, very minor issue. I don’t think it will affect our relationship. On the contrary, both sides, that is my feeling, don’t see anything wrong,” he said.

The Chinese envoy did not comment when asked whether the Indian envoy to Beijing was invited by the Chinese government to visit Lhasa.

The Indian external affairs ministry has been silent on the summoning of the Indian envoy in this manner, especially at a time when India and China are trying to invigorate their strategic and economic ties.

Underlining the potential of such misunderstandings to harm bilateral ties, the Chinese envoy called for a bigger presence of Indian journalists in China so that complex issues like Tibet can be reported in a more balanced manner.

“Of the 700 foreign journalists in China, only four are from India. Of 6,500 foreign journalists who visited China in 2007, only 146 were from India,” he said.

“There should be more resident Indian correspondents in Beijing and there should be more visits by journalists of both sides to each other’s country,” he said.

Setting an upbeat note for the future of India-China partnership, the Chinese envoy said: “Our relationship has acquired a global and strategic dimension. The development of our relationship will have an important bearing on international situation.”

“If India and China join hands, we can both win and prosper together. If India and China fight, we both fail,” he said.

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