A politically incorrect map of India in a Chinese company’s brochure led to a hot exchange between China’s ambassador to India, Zhang Yan, and an Indian journalist here on Thursday.
Peppered with questions on the map showing Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh in China and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in Pakistan, Zhang told the journalist to "shut up". He said the journalist "pushed, pushed, pushed" even when told it was a technical issue that would be sorted out. "We are working for friendlier ties with India... this will not help," he said.
The journalist shot back that unlike in China, there was full freedom in India. "How can you ask a journalist to shut up if he is asking you something," he asked Zhang.
Indian officials said even Indian companies have made similar mistakes in the past, and that it did not reflect Beijing’s official position.
Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary, external affairs ministry, said Zhang had accepted the map was wrong. "It is a private company (that goofed up), not the Chinese government," said Bambawale.
Earlier, the company, a heavy equipment manufacturing firm, signed a $400 million business deal with Gujarat.