Will China resolve staple visa issue? | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Will China resolve staple visa issue?

delhi Updated: Apr 05, 2011 19:41 IST

The issue of stapled visa remains unresolved and continues to be a major irritant in Sino-India ties, even as the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, heads for the Chinese coastal city of Sanya on April 12.

Dr Singh will have a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the margins of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit at Sanya.

During his visit to India in 2010, Jiabao said that Indian and Chinese officials should have "indepth" discussions to resolve differences over the stapled visa issue related to residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to sources in New Delhi, the visa issue is an ongoing discussion with Chinese officials.

So far, there is no indication of a solution on this sensitive issue.

The Embassy of China in New Delhi continues to issue stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir. Diplomatic sources here said there is no change in China's visa policy. In fact, earlier 2011, China provoked India by issuing stapled visas to two Arunachal Pradesh sportspersons.

China began stapling visas for Kashmiris in 2008. India considers paper visas invalid and views Beijing's step as an affronto to its territorial integrity.

The visa controversy became so complicated that India temporarily suspended defence ties with China in 2010 after Beijing denied then Northern Army Command chief Lt Gen B S Jaswal a visa on grounds that he was heading troops in Jammu and Kashmir.

As far as India is concerned, the ball is in China's court and New Delhi expects a positive announcement from Beijing on the visa issue during Dr Singh's visit to Sanya.

Prior to Singh's trip, China has sent out positive vibes drawing reference from a recent decision by both Delhi and Beijing to abstain from UN Security Council resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya.

"China and India are now helping to shape the world," the state-run China Daily said last week.

However, admitting to differences, the daily wrote, "Two ancient civilizations are emerging on the global stage and bringing the world greater prosperity, but at the same time there is a gap in mutual understanding."

During the April 12-17 trip, the Prime Minister will also visit Kazakhstan capital Astana for talks with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and other Kazakh leaders.

The second leg of the visit could see India pitch for more bilateral cooperation in oil and uranium.