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'We eat more McBurgers than India'

business Updated: Sep 01, 2007 02:32 IST
Nilova Roy Chaudhury
Nilova Roy Chaudhury
Hindustan Times

In the wake of severe criticism of its opposition to the Indo-US civil nuclear deal, China on Friday tried to give a positive view of its relations with India while also saying that it did not feel threatened by growing ties between India and the United States.

Conceding that the US is the world’s only “superpower”, Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Yuxi remarked: “We eat more McDonalds and wear more blue jeans than India.”

He said his government appreciated that each country, including India, would attempt to build its own relationship with the US. “We don’t mind that our neighbours have good relations with the US. Each country’s relationship with the US is different.”

Sun said there were many more American companies in China than in India, and that trade and commerce between his country and the US was “huge”, well ahead of India’s trade ties with the US.

He went on to say that his government welcomed development in India for “as Deng Xiaoping said, when China and India develop, only then can the Asian century come”.

The envoy was speaking to women mediapersons at the Indian Women’s Press Corps.

Speaking on how democracy forms a common thread between India and the US, and how the two are often critical of the lack of a democratic government in China, Sun said: “We think we are a democracy, in a different way.”

Asked about negative comments in the Chinese media about the Indo-US deal, reflecting the official Chinese position, he said: “To me, the Chinese media is as free as yours.” They (Chinese newspapers) may be officially financed but their views are not those of the government.”

Sun denied his country was seeking a similar deal for Pakistan. He claimed China and Pakistan had signed an agreement “long ago”, after which China had helped build Pakistan’s Chashma atomic power reactor.