India raises row over stapled visas to Kashmiris with China

India raised UNSC and stapled visa issues with China ahead of Jiabao visit to Delhi.

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2010, 00:58 AM IST

Wuhan (China): India on Sunday discussed with
China key bilateral issues, including seeking Beijing`s
support for its quest for a permanent UNSC seat and its
concerns over stapled visas to Kashmiris, as the two countries
prepared for the crucial visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to New
Delhi next month.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who arrived
here in the central Chines city on Sunday on two-day visit to
attend the meeting of Foreign Ministers of Russia, India and
China (RIC), held separate bilateral talks with his Russian
and Chinese counterparts on its sidelines.

In a 70-minute meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister
Yang Jeichi, Krishna sought China`s support for India`s bid
for UNSC permanent seat, stressing the need for the
international community to focus "intensively on this issue".

During the meeting, Yang gave "positive" indicators
over supporting New Delhi`s bid for the membership of the
powerful world body, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told
journalists.

While seeking China’s support, India also asked it to
be sensitive to its concerns relating to Jammu and Kashmir
just as it is alive to Beijing`s concerns over Tibet and
Taiwan.

Referring to the issue of stapled visas being issued
by China to residents of Jammu and Kashmir over which India
has raised strong objections, Krishna told Yang that as India-
China relations evolved and grow both sides should show mutual
sensitivity to each other’s concerns.

"In the contest of Jammu and Kashmir issue, he
(Krishna) expressed hope that China would be very sensitive to
our concerns on this very vital issue for India, just as we
have been sensitive to Chinese concerns, for instance on the
Tibet Autonomous region and Taiwan," Rao said.

China considers Tibet and Taiwan as inalienable part
of its territory.

Asked for her comments on Chinese reaction to the
stapled visa row, Rao said, "You have to read the right
meaning in what was conveyed by our Minister to the Chinese
Minister".

The public reference to Tibet and Taiwan by India is
seen here as a significant indication to show its strong
feelings towards China`s stand on the stapled visa issue.

The row had culminated in denying visa to the top
Indian General B S Jaswal on the ground that he headed troops
in Jammu and Kashmir, which China considers a disputed area.

Responding to Krishna’s assertions, Yang said China
has always held the view that Kashmir issue should be
appropriately resolved through dialogue and consultations
between India and Pakistan. He said this had been China’s
position and continues to be so and it has not altered in
anyway.

Indian officials hope that China would make efforts to
resolve the issue of stapled visas when Chinese Premier Wen
visits India next month.

On the issue of New Delhi`s permanent membership of
the UNSC, Rao quoted Yang as saying that China valued the
important role of India in the international affairs and
understood and supported India in its desire to play greater
role in the affairs of the Security Council.

"China was willing to continue and to increase the
consultation and communication with India on the UN reforms,"
Rao quoted the Chinese Foreign Minister as saying.

"In fact there is overwhelming support from the
members of UN for the reorganisation of UNSC, Rao quoted
Krishna as saying.

In response Yang said he "definitely recognised that
there had been fundamental change in the world situation and
that reform of international bodies especially the UN needed
active consideration."

Reacting to Yang`s comments, Rao said the idea of
consultation and close communication incrementally speaking is
a positive indicator. Whether they have given us full scale
endorsement it would be inaccurate to say that. Certainly they
are alert to this issue and indeed as what happened in the
last few months, we have seen increased focus on it," she
said.

The two countries have lined up several meetings,
which included the strategic dialogue between the two nations
to be conducted by Rao tomorrow.

This would be followed by the 14th round of talks to
resolve the border dispute to be conducted by National
Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon towards the end of the
month in Beijing.

PTI