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Culture clash mars China investment in India

$500M green energy project upstaged by Chinese ambassador's "undiplomatic" response to India's free press
China gujaratEnlarge
Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan (L) to India shakes hands with P.S Deodhar, President of the India/China Economic and Cultural Council, in Ahmedabad on August 26, 2011. Zhang Yan inaugurated the Gujarat Chapter of the India/China Economic and Cultural Council in Ahmedabad. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is in Beijing to shake hands on a deal that will see China's TBEA invest $500 million to produce green energy in the western Indian state.  But the big money deal has already been upstaged by yet another example of China's inability to understand or cope with the free press.

At the signing ceremony for the memorandum of understanding in New Delhi this week, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yan reportedly told an Indian journalist to "shut up," when he pressed the diplomat about maps included in the documentation for the deal that showed parts of Jammu & Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh as belonging to China.

Official Chinese media have cited the spat as proof of the Indian media's "negative role" in relations between the two countries.  But bloggers have been less charitable to their ambassador, noting that his response to the questions, at the least, could have been "more diplomatic," India's Hindu newspaper reports.

If this kind of thing happened less often, one might wonder why the maps were included in the company materials to begin with -- especially considering that Gujarat is nowhere near Kashmir or Arunachal Pradesh. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/culture-clash-mars-china-investment-india