China minister tips Indian pilots US$1,800
Posted on September 7, 2012, Friday
NEW DELHI: China’s defence minister caused a diplomatic headache during his trip to India by offering nearly US$2,000 as a tip to two air force pilots who flew him from Mumbai to New Delhi, reports said yesterday.
Liang Guanglie, who leaves yesterday after a four-day tour, handed over the cash in two envelopes after the flight in stormy monsoon weather on Monday evening, The Hindu newspaper reported.
“The Chinese defence minister was pleased with the way the IAF (Indian Air Force) pilots handled the flight and flew him down to the capital smoothly,” the newspaper said, citing anonymous sources.
The cash gift of 100,000 rupees (US$1,800) broke Indian protocol rules, which forbid crews from accepting money, The Hindu and other newspapers reported.
The money will be deposited in the government treasury.
“Officials were inclined to believe that the visiting minister was probably not well briefed on the protocol and customs followed in such situations in India,” The Hindu added.
After two days of meetings with India’s army chiefs, defence minister and prime minister, Liang did some sightseeing on Wednesday and was photographed out of his army uniform and looking casual in a baseball cap and a pink T-shirt. — AFP