China says its visa policy remains "unchanged"

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Beijing, Oct.26 (ANI): In a statement that could be a setback to the expected meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Wen Jiabao in Hanoi this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that China's visa policy towards Indian citizens from Jammu and Kashmir remained "unchanged".

The two countries recently suspended their defence exchanges after Lieutenant General B.S. Jaswal's visit was cancelled after Beijing issued him a stapled visa.

China's issuing of stapled visas to Indian citizens from the State is expected to figure in the talks between the two Prime Ministers.

While Indian officials have said the two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit later this week, Chinese officials said the timing of the meeting - and its agenda - had not yet been confirmed.

"China and India are staying in touch on this matter," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said, when asked about the visit. He said the government would release information "in due course".

On the visa issue, he said China's policy was "consistent" and "stays unchanged. (ANI)

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