Will solve stapled visa issue: China assures India

Ahead Wen Jiabao`s visit, Beijing assured India of resolving the stapled visa issue.

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2010, 00:28 AM IST

Brussels: Ahead of Chinese Premier Wen
Jiabao`s New Delhi visit, India no Wednesday said Beijing has given
an assurance that the issue of giving stapled visas to those
from Jammu and Kashmir will be resolved and that it will not
affect bilateral diplomatic exchanges.

Government sources said there was need to show
sensitivity to each other`s core concerns.
They said said this approach will be underlined by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he meets his Chinese
counterpart Wen next week for talks, which is taking place in
the backdrop of irritants in bilateral relations like the
issuance of stapled visas to Kashmiris.

The sources said that Beijing has told India that they
will solve the problem of issuing stapled visas to residents
of Jammu and Kashmir and that it is not a political issue.

China has also said this issue will not affect
bilateral diplomatic exchanges, they said.

The Chinese approach on how it is tackling the row
over the visa issue is a good solvent for bilateral ties, the
sources said.

They said India and China have shown an ability to
manage difficult issues in their relationship despite problems
like the boundary dispute and the stapled visa issue.

The sources said the growing trade imbalance against
India is posing a big problem and steps would have to be taken
to address it.

India-China bilateral trade is expected to touch a
record USD 60 billion this year. Sino-India trade has already
crossed USD 49.84 billion this October with Indian exports
alone touching USD 17 billion, while China continue to have a
sway with USD 32.87 billion worth of exports.

However, India is suffering a record trade deficit of
USD 15.9 billion this year.
On the boundary issue, sources said the Special
Representatives were making steady progress but it will take
some time before a solution could be hammered out.

The sources said India and China were now in the
second of the third phase outlined by the two countries in
their endeavour to find a solution to the boundary question.

The phase is related to laying down guiding principles
in 2005, a framework bilateral agreement and implementing this
pact.

The sources noted that India-China border was the most
peaceful in the world. The last death on the border was in
October 1975.

They said the importance attached by China in
developing relations with India can be gauged from the fact
that eight of the nine CPC politburo members had visited India
in November.

PTI