China denies visa to top general in Indian (invaded) J&K

NEW DELHI: India has cancelled defence exchanges with China afterBeijing refused to allow the visit of the Indian army's General OfficerCommanding-in-Chief, Northern Area Command, because he was responsiblefor (Occupied) Jammu & Kashmir, a state that China maintained wasdisputed.

In keeping with a practice for the past few years, the Indian defenceestablishment in June had began preparations for a regular high-levelexchange visit to China this August by one of the top commanders of theIndian army — the northern area commander, Lt-Gen B S Jaswal.

However, Delhi was stunned when Beijing responded to his nomination bysaying that it was unwilling to "welcome" Gen Jaswal because he"controlled" a disputed area, Jammu and Kashmir.

An angry New Delhi shot off a strongly worded demarche to Beijing,protesting its decision. Soon thereafter, India refused permission totwo Chinese defence officials to come to India for a course at theNational Defence College. A subsequent visit by Indian militaryofficials to China was also cancelled by India.

To ensure that there was no ambiguity about the reason for itsannoyance, New Delhi has since also bluntly told Beijing that theunexpected decision to block Lt-Gen Jaswal's visit to China was thereason behind India's decisions.

New Delhi found China's behaviour particularly provocative because inAugust 2009, Lt-Gen V K Singh, currently the Army chief and then theGOC-in-C Eastern Command, had visited China for a similar high-levelexchange. If territorial sensitivity was the issue with China, thenSingh's visit should have been even more problematic because, as headof the Eastern Command, he had jurisdiction over Arunachal Pradesh, astate that is claimed by China.

The Chinese have been needling India on Kashmir for a while. Beijingrefuses to paste visas on the passports of residents of J&K, andstaples them instead, despite repeated protests from India. As theIndian government refuses to recognize stapled visas as valid traveldocuments, the upshot is that the people of J&K can't visit China.

Beijing, in fact, also denies visas altogether to the residents ofArunachal, claiming them to be Chinese citizens. Still, it did not haveany hesitation in "welcoming" Gen J J Singh as the head of the EasternCommand in May 2007. This would make it appear that Beijing was going astep further to needle New Delhi on Kashmir. New Delhi has, however,has not allowed this issue to spill over elsewhere in the bilateralties.

China's aggressive approach on J&K is, of course, directlyconnected to its close relationship with Pakistan. China- Pakistan tiesis viewed to be aimed at keeping India boxed in, and this manifestsitself in many different ways. In 2008, China started constructionactivities in (Azad) Kashmir which India regarded as provocative. In 2010, China announced that it would supply two nuclear reactors to Pakistan.

Posted in , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by