Unhappy over China showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as its territory in maps of the country on their new e-passports, India has retaliated by issuing visas, containing Indian maps including these regions as part of it.
The retaliation came after the Chinese government started issuing new e-passports, carrying pages with watermark Chinese maps including Arunachal and Aksai Chin as its parts.
Taking note of this few weeks back, India through its embassy in Beijing is issuing visas to Chinese nationals with a map of India including these places as part of its territory.
Earlier also, China had triggered a diplomatic row by issuing stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, terming it as a "disputed territory" and denied visas to those hailing from Arunachal Pradesh.
Peeved over this action, India lodged a strong protest with China which subsequently reverted to issuing normal visas to residents of J-K but without officially admitting that they were doing so.
China's claim to Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a 1,030-km unfenced border with it, is not new.
In 1962, China and India fought a brief war over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, but in 1993 and 1996 the two countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control to maintain peace and tranquility.
Significantly, these developments occur even as a high-level team of Chinese diplomats, for the first time, visited Sikkim in connection with consular issues, which was seen as reconfirmation of Beijing's stance of accepting the state as part of India.
The development comes even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the Asean summit in Cambodia where the two leaders discussed ways to move forward on the vexed boundary issue.
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is expected to visit Beijing soon for the next round of boundary talks at the level of Special Representatives with his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo.