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Hair-splitting: China denies visa row with India

The Chinese government on Thursday denied there was any visa controversy between India and China.

world Updated: Sep 03, 2010 00:14 IST

The Chinese government on Thursday denied there was any visa controversy between India and China.

Beijing reverted to hair-splitting in an attempt to defuse the uproar following its decision to refuse a visa to a top Indian general.

China seems to have chosen to make a fine distinction between conveying official reservations about names suggested for bilateral exchange programmmes — as happened with Jaiswal and is not uncommon between the two countries — and the turning down of an official visa application.

Beijing has argued that the denial of a visa to Lt Gen B.S. Jaswal, whose jurisdiction includes Jammu and Kashmir, fell in the former category rather than the latter.

"We've checked with the competent authorities. The relevant media report is not true," said foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu in response to a question on Jaswal at a regular media briefing.

On Kashmir, Beijing repeated its official line. "The Kashmir issue is a leftover from history between India and Pakistan," said Jiang. "This issue should be left to India and Pakistan to be properly handled through dialogue.”

Beijing has also accused the media of 'ulterior motives' to harm ties with India by 'groundlessly' reporting a Chinese

military presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which China's official agency has referred to as 'northern Pakistan'.

Late on Wednesday night, the foreign ministry circulated a statement through its news agency Xinhua, denying the presence of Chinese troops in the Gilgit region as reported by the New York Times.

"We believe the attempts of some people to fabricate stories to provoke China-Pakistan or China-India relations are doomed to fail," said the statement.

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