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No defence exchanges till China changes position on JK, says India

Last updated on: October 24, 2010 19:08 IST

When Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Hanoi at the sidelines of the Asean Summit on Saturday, the border issue is likely to dominate their discussions, sources indicated.

India has taken up the issue of Chinese advances into Pak-occupied Kashmir very strongly, leading to Beijing denying its involvement in the region. However, India is keeping a hawk eye on the developments on the border and hopes to broach the subject with the Chinese leadership.

A meeting of special representatives between India and China will also be held to iron out this issue. Sources said that there is a feeling amongst people to be "upset if anyone draws a wrong map," referring to China perennially showing Arunachal Pradesh as a part of its territory. Sources said that such a reaction betrays low-self esteem and should not be lent any dignity by blowing up the issue, since Arunachal belongs to India.

Sources also said that military exchanges with China have not been called off; however, high level exchanges have been 'stalled till we resolve the issue'.

When asked when the possible resolution was likely to come about, sources said, we 'cannot predict Chinese behaviour., nor can we presume to know what they will say. But we want to resume full exchange

of defence ties with China soon'.

However, on the matter of China issuing visas on a separate sheet to senior Indian defence officers, India's stance is very clear. Such separate sheets are totally unacceptable to India, sources reiterated.

China had earlier rejected reports of the presence of over 11,000 of its troops in the Gilgit area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying that such 'groundless' reports were being put out with 'ulterior motives' to hurt Beijing's ties with New Delhi and Islamabad .

The comment came in response to a report on August 28, that China had deployed more than 10,000 troops in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan.

China, which is issuing stapled visas to those travelling to China from the Jammu and Kashmir  region, on the ground that it was disputed had declined a visa to Indian Army's Northern Command chief, Lieutenant General B S Jaswal to join a military delegation for a high-level visit.

The denial of a visa to the general prompted India to put off all military exchanges with China in protest until the issue gets resolved.

The Indian and Chinese leaders are also likely to discuss concerns related to regional and global economy and security, and the water issues between the two nations.

Shishir Bhate in Tokyo