New Delhi: In an unpleasant development, China has denied visa to a senior IAF officer hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, who was to be part of the team scheduled to
travel to Beijing from January 10.
Group Captain Panging, based in Northeast, was refused visa by the Chinese embassy without being given any reasons, sources said here.
The officer who was to be part of the Integrated Defence Staff team travelling to China on a four-day visit under a bilateral defence exchange programme.
The 30-member tri-Service Indian delegation, being led by an Air Vice Marshal-rank officer, will visit Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai there.
The sources said as of now the visit is on.
China, which lays claim over Arunachal Pradesh, has often denied visa to those hailing from the state despite protests by India.
The visit by Indian military delegation was reciprocal to the one undertaken by the Chinese last month and is part of the confidence building measures between the two sides.
Relations between India and China had soured in 2010 when the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal was denied visa as he was serving in Jammu and Kashmir, inferring that it questioned the status of the state.
Jaswal was to head a military delegation and an angry India cancelled that visit, besides putting on hold defence exchanges.
The ice was broken when India sent a delegation under a Major General in June last year. After that visit, two more visits took place between the two sides.
The two countries had decided to enhance defence exchanges as part of CBMs during their Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) held earlier this month.