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No Dalai, here for just trade

November 17, 2009

Times of India
November 15, 2009

NEW DELHI -- China may be busy squabbling with
India over the visits by the PM and Dalai Lama to
Arunachal Pradesh, but those from the land of the
dragon don't even seem to know about the state's
existence, let alone bother with its ownership.
At the ongoing trade fair of which China is the
partner country Chinese participants not only
refused to recognise the name of the northeastern
state but also said that business should be kept
away from politics and religion.

Vincent Zhang from the province of Wenzhou looked
completely blank when asked about the political
tension between the two countries. "We should
have mutual respect for each other's economies. I
have no idea about any tension between India and
China at present, but I do know that business
between the two is doing well,'' he said.

Ivy Xu, representing a reflective clothing
company from China, was equally clueless about
Arunachal. "I haven't even heard of Dalai Lama,
so can't say how he will affect anything. Tibet
is an issue that took centrestage in our politics
a while back but the issue is sensitive and I
don't know much about it. This is my first trip
to India and I am quite excited to be here and
don't think I will face any problems,'' she said.

Nancy Tang from the Jiangsu province in south
China was quite upbeat about the response she had
been getting from Indian buyers. Representing a
company that manufactures agricultural machinery,
she said that she had been coming to India for a
while but did not believe there was any tension
between the two nations. "Wouldn't they have
issued some advisory to us if our country was
actually upset with India?'' she asked innocently.

Only one person, who refused to reveal his name,
said he was aware of the issue but "for internal
reasons'' could not comment on it. "It is a
matter to be sorted out by the politicians. We
are here to do business and hopefully will get a
good response in the coming days,'' he said.
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