CHINA: India hits out Chinese media over trade protectionism

Indian Embassy in Beijing issues statement to counter any anti-India sentiments generated by Chinese media reports regarding trade and investment between the two countries

The Times of India
Thursday, August 6, 2009

By Saibal Dasgupta

Beijing --- For the first time in years, the Indian Embassy in Beijing has come out with a statement challenging the views expressed in the Chinese media while equating the opinions of the official media with that of the local government.

The Indian statement debunks Chinese media reports over past weeks blaming India for taking a protectionist attitude towards trade and investment. New Delhi is worried about the official media raking up anti-India sentiment and making it difficult for the two countries to hold sane and dispassionate negotiations in the business field, sources said.

Interestingly, the statement comes just a day after the People's Daily, the official organ of the Communist Party of China, did a near about turn and published an article singing praise of the growing India-China partnership in business and global affairs.

Chinese exports to India have grown tenfold while Indian exports to China has risen five fold in the past five years, the embassy said in the statement. "This can not happen in an environment of protectionism or trade barriers," the statement said.

In the statement, India has complained of Beijing's refusal to grant sufficient access to Indian agricultural goods including Basmati rice despite after a decade of negotiations. It tried to meet Chinese worries about New Delhi's anti-dumping measures saying they were driven by legal and legitimate considerations and carried no bias.

"Indian regulations apply uniformly and are not China specific. Besides, there is a legal framework to deal with Anti-Dumping cases," the statement, which has been sent to several Chinese and foreign journalists, said.

Anti- Dumping measures are trade remedy instruments for ensuring fair trade and not measures to restrict competition. The increasing trend in overall bilateral trade is a testimony that the Anti-Dumping investigations have not hindered the bilateral trade and are merely an instrument for ensuring fair trade in accordance with international laws, it said.

India has urged China to implement assurances given by its leaders during various meetings since the then premier Zhu Rongji's visit to New Delhi in 2002 as "trade and economic relations between our two countries are rapidly becoming the bedrock for a more intensive engagement".