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Reports of 'abused diplomat' inaccurate

01-05-2012 11:10 BJT

BEIJING - China on Wednesday said media reports that an Indian diplomat was mistreated and hospitalized when offering consular services to two Indian traders on trial in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu were not factually accurate.

"China has always strictly abided by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and other relevant laws and regulations, protected the personal safety of foreign consular officials and provided them with assistance when carrying out their duties," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in response to a question at a regular news briefing.

Some media reports said that S. Balachandran, from the Indian consulate general in Shanghai, was not allowed access to food and medication and was attacked by an angry crowd while offering consular assistance to two Indian businessmen on trial in Yiwu, Zhejiang province.

The incident happened when he was leaving a court after prolonged negotiations on the night of Dec 31, according to the Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, adding that the two Indians had been held by local traders for two weeks over non-payment of fees by their company, whose owner had allegedly fled the country.

Hong said the two Indian businessmen involved in the hearing were now staying in a hotel under police protection, and had freedom of movement. Police had detained five other people on suspicion of "illegal detention".

An advisory on the website of India's Beijing embassy on Tuesday urged Indian nationals not to do business in Yiwu after the release of the reports, because they could be "mistreated" there and had "no guarantee of legal remedies".

China is a country under the rule of law, and relevant Chinese departments have always protected the legal rights of Indian citizens in China, Hong said.

The spokesman added the case was an individual one triggered by economic disputes and China's judicial authorities are now handling the case in accordance with the law, and China attaches great importance to friendly relations with India and hopes the Indian side will treat the case in an objective and fair manner.

"We hope that Indian authorities could deal with this matter fairly and objectively" and ensure the country's businessmen in China abide by Chinese laws and regulations, he added.

Yiwu, a small city in eastern China, is a hub of the nation's small-commodity business.

The Press Trust of India said more than 100 Indian businessmen live there.

Editor:Wang Xi |Source: China Daily

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