China has promised to resolve the question of stapled visas for Indians from Jammu and Kashmir, but no announcement on this will be expected during Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit from December 16 to 18.
“The Chinese have said it is not a political issue. It will be resolved soon and we will get to know when it is resolved,” a source said. India does not expect any dramatic turnaround in the Chinese position on India’s claim to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council either.
China issues visas on a separate sheet to people from J&K, as opposed to stamping it on their passports, in an apparent attempt to suggest Kashmir is a disputed territory. India has objected to this practice.
The source said Wen’s visit will be an occasion to understand each other’s sensitivity, particularly on core issues such as Kashmir. “Kashmir is as integral to us as China considers Tibet, is what we tell them,” he said. He added that Chinese support to India’s UNSC claim would come into play only after the first hurdle of winning two-thirds of the votes in the General Assembly is crossed.
Though India is careful not to hype Wen’s visit, officials said there is enthusiasm on the Chinese side. The visit won’t be restricted to ceremonial functions and formal meetings. The premier has expressed his desire to address a public function, and a speech by him is being organised at the Indian Council of World Affairs in the Capital.