India reacts strongly, says stapled Chinese visa for Arunachal not acceptable

New Delhi, Jan 13 (ANI): India today reacted strongly, saying that the issuing of stapled visas by China to athletes from Arunachal Pradesh is not acceptable.

Despite strong protest by India against stapled visas issued to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, China has expanded its stapled visa regime to Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) joint secretary Abraham K. Techi along with a noted Arunchalee weightlifter were to leave for Beijing at the invitation of Chinese Weightlifting Association, but due to the stapled visas issued by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi they were not able to board the flight.

Techi, who contacted the Chinese Embassy on Tuesday, said the official informed that "right visa had been issued to the Arunchalees".

"Issuing of stapled visa is not acceptable to the Government of India and we have already conveyed it to China," said Defence Minister A K Antony after unveiling the country's first ever Defence Production Policy.

Commenting on rise in Chinese activity along border of India and their growing footprints in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Antony said: "It is fact that China has strengthened its security infrastructure in the border areas in the last 20 years, but I can assure that we have also strengthened security apparatus in the Eastern sector."

Antony further said that along with status and growth of India, the country would have to strengthen its security, as the situation is highly volatile in the neighbourhood.

"We are modernising our armed forces after careful assessment of threats. Our security arrangements are better now and the forces are fairly well prepared," Antony added.

Chinese territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesh - a key component of the longstanding boundary dispute with India-had come in the way of bilateral interactions, in 2007 with China denying a visa to senior IAS officer Ganesh Koyu, who was a member of 107 strong IAS officers" team on a management programme to China.

A study visit to Beijing and Shanghai, part of a programme to learn more about Chinese economic growth and policies, was cancelled because of Beijing's refusal to grant visa to Koyu who hail from Arunachal Pradesh. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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