China will solve stapled visa isse: India (Lead)December 9th, 2010 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS
By Sarwar Kashani
Brussels, Dec 9 (IANS) Ahead of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India next week, Beijing has assured New Delhi that it will sort out all “difficult” issues, including that of stapled visas to Kashmiris.
An official source told IANS here that India will raise the stapled visas and other “difficult” issues with the Chinese premier, who is arriving in New Delhi Dec 15 on his first visit in five years.
The matter related to stapled visas has been raised with Chinese officials at various levels and they have assured that “we will solve it”, the source said.
“The external affairs minister (S.M. Krishna) raised it when he was there (in China), the National Security Advisor (Shivshankar Menon) raised it. The Chinese say we will solve it,” the source said.
He said that the Chinese don’t want to make a political issue out of it and it should not affect the relatinship between the two countries. “They say it is not a political issue and it should not affect the relationship or defence exchanges. Let’s see, we will keep at it, we will work at it,” said the source.
China in 2008 started issuing stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir indicating that it doesn’t consider the state as part of India. Beijing earlier this year also refused a visa to an Indian army officer who was serving in the state and who was to make an official visit to China.
The official said the visit of Wen “itself is important because it gives us a chance (to raise issues) at the highest level”.
He said the trip announced by Wen on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit coincides with the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between the two neighbours.
“Chinese are interested in seeing that this partnership with India carries forward,” the source said.
He said Wen will also make a public speech during his two day stay in India also at the Indian Council of World Affairs in Sapru House in Delhi.
He will also attend the closing ceremony of the festival of China in India.
The official said that India will raise the matter of trade imbalance between the two countries
“We will set targets for the future. We also want to discuss with them how we build this relationship, how we make developments in a healthy way because there is an imbalance which is growing, a trade imbalance,” he said, adding that the Chinese side “recognises this”.
“In fact Wen Jiabao said in Hanoi that this is the issue we must address and we must both take measures to sort it out.”
He said the two sides have agreed to solve the boundary issue through an ongoing three-phase process of negotiations.
“We have the boundary question, we have difficult issues but in the past we have shown abilities to manage these issues.
“We have a process of discussion between the special representatives. We have gone through one phase (which) was to agree on the principles. We signed an agreement on guiding principles for the boundary settlement. Second phase is to take those principles and set a framework for boundary settlement. And the third phase would be to actually apply that framework into delineating that line.”
He said the two sides now at the second phase will try to elaborate on the common framework. “We have made some progress, we are making steady progress but it will take some more time. It will need more work.”
He said the achievement of the negotiations has “to deal with that in a peaceful, negotiated way”.
The source said the border with China has been “really one of the peaceful borders”.
“Actually if you look at it this year, there has been much less by way of intrusions or face offs than they were in previous years. This is actually the most peaceful border. The last person to die on this border was in October 1974,” he said.
“We are doing two things, maintaining peace on borders and secondly to also ensure that the boundary question is separated from the development of the rest of the relationship.”
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