India cancels delegation visit to China over visa row




    India has decided to cancel the visit of a 30 strong military delegation to China after China denied visa to a senior air force officer from Arunachal Pradesh. China claims parts of Arunachal as its own, but it gave no reason for visa denial in the latest incident.

    China denied visa to Group Captain Panging, who was part of the team scheduled to go to China for a four day visit from January Jan 10. The contact between the two militaries is seen as crucial to promoting a better understanding near the LaC where Chinese forces have repeatedly breached the border. India too has boosted its military presence near the border to better patrol the area and protect the status quo on the LaC pending a final settlement.

    China often makes moves which can be termed as psychological games, to intimidate India on the border. The repeated incursions of the LaC is one instance. China has also been issuing stapled visas to the residents of Arunachal Pradesh. The stapling of visas indicates that the territory is in dispute. China has been issuing stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, but it has not been giving visas to people of Arunachal Pradesh at all.

    Though it had begun issuing visas, the giving of stapled visas was seen as a move to rile India. The issue has not till now been resolved diplomatically, even though China continues to say that Indian concerns at a top priority. It is not known – given this background – why India included a resident of Arunachal Pradesh in the delegation. Arguably even if China had issued a stapled visa to Captain Panging it would have been unacceptable to India.

    What we are seeing here is perhaps a complex diplomatic game in which India and China are engaged in fighting over their respective claims on Arunachal Pradesh through these covert moves.

    The issue does not seem towards a resolution anytime soon.