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The Chinese view of India

In San Francisco, the only North American city hosting the torch, officials shortened the April 9 route through the city and have abbreviated the ceremonies. Mayor Gavin Newsom has said no one will be prevented from expressing his views, but permits are required to gather near the torch.[Drama as torch arrival set for Tiananmen, though protests not expected]

The Chinese Ambassador to United States did not summon Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco to his office at 2 A.M. Instead the ambassador made his way to the Mayor’s office in San Francisco to discuss the Olympic torch relay through the city.

Contrast it with this:

A sign of the nature of a relationship between countries is the manner in which they officially communicate displeasure. So when the Chinese government calls in the Indian ambassador at 2am, to hand her details of plans by Tibetan protesters to disrupt the movement of the Olympic torch in India, you know what the Chinese think about the nature of bilateral relationship. China might have reason to be angry. That it chose to be demonstrate unfriendliness reveals that it believes the proper way to handle India is through overreaction and bullying[Doing it at ungodly hours]

The editor of the People’s Daily of Chennai must be upset that Mayor Newsom was not summoned.

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10 Responses to The Chinese view of India

  1. VK March 31, 2008 at 3:19 am #

    Actually, who goes to meet whom is a matter of official procedure. You can’t “summon” an official of the host government. You have to call on them at their convenience. Forget Mayors, even lower-level employees of host government can’t be summoned. One can only seek appointments with them.. or invite them over.. both of which can be refused easily. Not so easy in the opposite direction.

    This doesn’t mean that summoning an Ambassador’s at 0200 hrs is fine.. just that it is procedurally sound.

  2. photonman March 31, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    @ VK

    Well said.

  3. JK March 31, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    The point which was not explicitly mentioned was that China did not summon the American Ambassador at 2 AM and ask for protection, but instead asked the Chinese Ambassador to visit the mayor. Also protests against Chinese embassies have been happening in various countries and none of the diplomats there were summoned. They know whom to insult and whom not to.

  4. VK March 31, 2008 at 5:33 pm #

    @JK: The first sentence of your comment doesn’t make sense to me. You can’t summon people when you have to request them for something!

    Your second point is valid, though a bit inaccurate. Other Ambassadors were also summoned, but at regular working hours.

    The last sentence is thoroughly inaccurate in is implications. China has summoned US ambassadors in the past. Just google for the appropriate terms (China, Summon, Ambassador) and you will come across plenty of links.

    I think you are missing the point of Nitin’s post. The summons, by themselves, are not insulting. They are just protocol. What is unusual is the timing – 0200 hrs.

  5. kesh March 31, 2008 at 10:57 pm #

    vk,
    I thought the whole point of the blog entry was to tell ‘Some freakin Chinese calls in the Indian ambassador at “2:00AM” to talk about something which the ambassador can do nothin about’. Either the chinese care rats-ass about the ambassador or he believe s every Indian works at a call center in the middle of the nite.

    I dont know nothin about calling in or summon or whatever that you guys are all talking about.

    -kesh

  6. VK April 1, 2008 at 1:33 am #

    @kesh: That point can be, and has been, made without drawing incorrect parallels. Just read Nitin’s post (linked in the post above).

  7. JK April 2, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    Nitin’s post is about the 2 AM insult. My post is about the fact that for this issue, China could have summoned US Ambassador and asked him to protect the torch, but they did not. Yes, Ambassadors have been summoned since time immemorial, but that was not my point.

  8. VK April 2, 2008 at 6:19 pm #

    @JK: In the post, you were offended that the Chinese Ambassador did not summon the Mayor. That was simply impossible for the Ambassador to do.

    Now, you are offended that the Chinese Govt did not summon the US Ambassador to seek protection for the torch. This, while not impossible, would also be highly unusual because you can’t *order* people to help you. The thirsty chap goes to the well for a drink, not the other way around.

    The correct protocol is what the Chinese Ambassador did. What the Chinese Ministry did by issuing midnight summons was also correct technically, but out of line in terms of basic politeness.

    Nitin’s post says all that is there to say about this issue. The Chinese Ambassador’s actions in USA are irrelevant here. Don’t get offended by technicalities.

  9. KM April 3, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    This, while not impossible, would also be highly unusual because you can’t *order* people to help you.

    Didn’t they order Nirupama Rao to secure their embassy. Why didn’t the Chinese Ambassador walk into the Prime Minister’s office and request for more protection. I think the point JK is trying to make is that techically it may be right to summon, but China knows when to apply technicalities and when not apply it.

  10. VK April 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    @KM: You are confident that the Chinese Ambassador did not seek (and have) meetings with his Indian counterparts (not the PM). JK is confident that other Ambassadors were not summoned by the Chinese Ministry. If you do not see 50 news stories about something, it does not mean that it did not happen.

    Whatever point JK was trying to make, he could have picked better illustrations.

    I’ll stop here on this comment thread.

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