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Forget the dispute. There’s plenty for India to learn from how China conducts its trade policy. It is in marked contrast to how India cuts its deals.

China Southern Airlines Co. has agreed to buy 10 A330 planes from Airbus SAS in less than a month after the European Union backed down in a fight over airline emission levies. The Chinese could have chosen any other aircraft manufacturer for this order, but secured a deal that confers advantages on its aviation industry.

Airbus’s parent company, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. NV, had complained that aviation levies would ensure that China would not buy these planes. This ensured the European Union backed down.

In the past years, India has spent billions of dollars in buying military and other hardware off the shelf from a host of countries; one cannot remember an occasion when it tried to bargain hard for its companies.

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