by Staff Writers
New Delhi (UPI) Nov 7, 2011
New Delhi lodged a diplomatic protest with China after a map used in a commercial presentation showed sections of northern India as part of China.
The map was in a brochure produced by the Chinese company Tebian Electric Apparatus and was noticed by journalists at a media presentation for the company's investments in China.
The company is part of the business delegation from the Muslim-majority Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China looking for two-way investment opportunities, the Economic Times of India said.
TBEA, a power transformer maker, was announcing a $400 million investment in the western Indian state of Gujarat. At the presentation was Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan and several other senior Chinese officials.
The map depicted the state of Arunachal Pradesh and parts of the state Jammu and Kashmir as Chinese territory -- a particularly sensitive issue for both countries because of ongoing talks to settle frontiers in the remote and mountainous areas. India and China share more than 2,000 miles of border.
Journalists at the event noticed the map and questioned the ambassador who said it was only "a technical" but that he would look into it, a report by The Times of India said.
However, after persistent questioning, the ambassador told a reporter to "shut up" and that he would look into how the error happened. "We are working for friendlier ties with India ... this will not help," he said.
The journalist wasn't easily put off. "This is not China... it is India," he told the ambassador. "We have full freedom here. How can you ask a journalist to shut up if he is asking you something?"
Later, Zhang said: "This is a technical issue. We handle these issues. Your joint secretary has mentioned it and I have said that we will look into this. I have talked to our people."
Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary in charge of China in the Indian External Affairs Ministry, said he conveyed his objections to the Chinese ambassador.
Bambawale also said the Chinese ambassador reassured him that TBEA's map was not a reflection of Beijing's stance on territorial issues.
The diplomatic fury comes as the two countries are to sit down in New Delhi at the end of the month for the next round of boundary talks -- the latest after 14 such meetings.
Similar meetings have produced few concrete results to finalize a border within the undemarcated Line of Actual Control.
But the November gathering is expected to put the final touches to an agreed border incident monitoring and investigation organization, a report by IBN, an Indian television broadcaster owned by Global Broadcast News, said.
The organization would include diplomats from India's External Affairs Ministry, senior military heads at the Department of Defense and representatives of paramilitary forces in the disputed areas.
Other contentious border issues are likely will be on the table when the countries meet, IBN said. These include India's deal with Vietnam for exploration in the Chinese-claimed South China Sea.
Ownership of even the smallest uninhabitable islands is important because of suspected oil and gas resources in the surrounding seabed, as well as access to plentiful fish stocks.
A major dispute is control of the Spratly Islands. Apart from China and Vietnam, the Spratly Islands, or some of them, are claimed by Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.
Other disputed islands are the Scarborough Shoal off the west coast of the Philippines and the Paracels, the most northerly group of islands and the ones closest to China.
In early May China said it will beef up marine patrols by at least 10 percent in the face of what it claimed were increasing incursions into its territorial waters. By the end of the year, around 1,000 recruits will be added to the 9,000 already employed by China's marine service, Beijing said.
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Galileo satellites handed over to control centre in Germany
Paris, France (ESA) Nov 07, 2011
Europe's first two Galileo satellites have reached their final operating orbits, opening the way for activating and testing their navigation payloads. Marking the formal end of their LEOP Launch and Early Operations Phase, control of the satellites was passed yesterday from the CNES French space agency centre in Toulouse to the Galileo Control Centre in Oberpfaffenhofen in Germany. O ... read more
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