New Delhi: China Thursday made it clear that it
will not issue visas to any official from Arunachal Pradesh, over which it lays claims, and will continue to issue stapled
visas to non-officials from that state.
Speaking against the backdrop of reports that two
Arunachal men have got stapled visas which was departure from
past practice, an official in Chinese embassy, on the
condition of anonymity, said there was no change in their visa
policy for residents of Arunachal Pradesh.
"There is no change in our visa policy for residents of
Arunachal Pradesh. China does not issue visas to officials
from that state and will still not do it. For non-officials,
we only issue stapled visas," the official told reporters.
The incident of issuance of stapled visas to residents of
Arunachal Pradesh came to light when two sportsmen from that
state were prevented by immigration officials from boarding a
flight yesterday from New Delhi to Beijing since they had
stapled visas given by Chinese Embassy on their passports.
Indian Weightlifting Federation`s Joint Secretary Abraham
K Techi along with a weightlifter of the state were taken
aback when immigration officials at New Delhi`s IGI Airport
stopped them and turned them away because of the stapled visas
issued by the Chinese Embassy.
Reacting to the Chinese action, the Ministry of External
Affairs said India considers Arunachal Pradesh as an integral
part of India and has conveyed to the Chinese side that a
uniform process of issue of visas to Indian citizens be
followed regardless of applicant`s ethnicity or place of
Maintaining that both the athletes are reportedly
domiciles of Arunachal Pradesh, the Ministry recalled that a
travel advisory had been issued in November, 2009 cautioning
Indian citizens that Chinese visas stapled to passports were
not valid for travel outside the country.
Needling India, China started issuing stapled visas to
people from Jammu and Kashmir from later part of 2008 in an
attempt to project it as a disputed area.
In the case of residents of Arunachal Pradesh, visas were
never issued till now as China claims the whole of the
north-eastern state as its own.
The contentious issue of stapled visas for residents of J
and K had figured during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao`s visit to
New Delhi last month.