Trapped traders

Tensions between China and India have flared in an unusual spot: the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, an international trading hub.

Two Indian businessmen are reportedly trapped inside a hotel in Yiwu, according to Indian broadcaster NDTV, saying they are being held hostage over a business dispute with locals. NDTV reported that the men said in telephone interviews they feared for their safety and had been police would not protect them from angry locals waiting outside if they left the hotel. Chinese business people in Yiwu have said the Indians' company owes local traders a million dollars.

"This is an individual case triggered by economic disputes. Chinese judicial authority is dealing with this case according to law. China hopes India can treat this case with objectivity and fairness, and actively educate Indian merchants in China to behave according to the Chinese law, behave honestly and operate legitimately," the broadcaster quoted Hong Lei, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, as saying.