China refutes reports of Indian diplomat's mistreatment

Updated: 2012-01-04 19:07


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BEIJING - China on Wednesday said media reports that an Indian diplomat was mistreated in a court case in the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu were not factually accurate.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks in response to a question at a regular press 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 Indian Embassy in Beijing on Tuesday urged Indian nationals not to do business in Yiwu after the release of the reports.

Hong said, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and other relevant laws and regulations, China has always protected the personal safety of foreign consular officials and provided them with assistance when carrying out their duties.

He stressed that China is a country under the rule of law and relevant Chinese departments have always protected the legal rights of Indian citizens in China according to law.

The case is an individual one triggered by economic disputes and China's judicial department is now handling the case in accordance with law, he said.

China attaches great importance to friendly relations with India and hopes the Indian side will treat the case in an objective and fair manner, Hong added.

Hong also called on the Indian authorities to educate and guide the country's businessmen in China to abide by Chinese laws and regulations, practice honesty and trustworthiness and operate legally.

He said that Yiwu, as China's largest small-commodity distributing center, welcomes business people from worldwide to do business in the city.