As an Indian what is your experience with China and its people?
Balaji Viswanathan, traveled to China
I have always had a positive experience with the Chinese. My experience with Chinese started in my college days - when I went to Singapore for an award ceremony and got a chance to interact with a number of students of Chinese origin.
In my Masters program in Baltimore, I developed close relationships with many more. One of them was an Indophile who would be there in every Indian event in campus. Both in my MS program and in my MBA program, some of my closest friends were Chinese students.
At Microsoft, my first mentor was a Chinese. And in one of my teams we had a Chinese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese-Canadian and me. It was an amazingly well-knit team. We used to joke about the alleged tensions that run between our cultures.
I thought maybe it is the overseas Chinese that are this friendly. Then in my recent visit to China, I was proven wrong. While the media in India [competing with the Global Times in China] was running jingoistic articles, I hardly found any tension in China.
People were polite and the policemen were friendly. When my teammate got lost in a street, the policeman gave a lift in his vehicle. In one of my bus journeys I was out of change and a poor gentleman paid my ticket with a smile. He didn’t know English, but shared a bond with me. When we met our suppliers they hosted us with sumptuous lunches [I could not accept that being a vegetarian]. A random girl in the street asked me about Krishna and was interested in our philosophy. I also found that getting visa for an Indian is easier than for an American or a Pakistani.
In short, this whole thing about the tension between Chinese and Indians is a fake thing. We get along so well in US, Canada and elsewhere. And we get along so well in China.The tension is between the two border forces trying to split their hairs on who owns a particular ridge and what did a piece of paper written in 1890 say.
At a time when we are talking about wars, it is time we start interacting people to people. Not diplomat to diplomat, not army to army, but common people to common people. Then you will find out how much in common with us. And how much there is mutual respect.
Make love, not war.