Visa row: Indian military team’s China visit called off

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    New Delhi, (IANS) The visit of an Indian military delegation to China has been called off after Beijing refused a visa to an IAF officer who belongs to Arunachal Pradesh, a defence ministry source said Friday.

    “I can confirm that the visit has been called off,” the source said.

    Group Captain Panging, identified by his surname only, was part of the team scheduled to travel to Beijing from Jan 10, but his visa was denied by the Chinese embassy here without any reasons, the source said.

    The 30-member team of the IAF, the army and the navy was to travel to China on a four-day visit for a bilateral defence exchange programme.

    China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and has been denying visa to those hailing from the northeastern state despite protests by India.

    Beijing has also been denying visas to Jammu and Kashmir residents, sparking a diplomatic row between the two sides.

    In 2010, the Chinese embassy denied a visa to then Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, then head of the Northern Command because he was serving in Jammu and Kashmir.

    The visit of the military team Jaswal was leading was cancelled and India also temporarily called off its defence exchanges with China.