No Chinese journalists allowed for Aero-India show

New Delhi, Feb 1 (PTI) Amid its unease over China''s visapolicy towards Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, Indiahas ensured that Chinese journalists are not able to cover theupcoming ''Aero-India'' international defence show in Bangaloreas accreditations have been denied to them.

The Defence Ministry did not keep any slot for China inthe list of countries whose journalists could apply online onits website to make them eligible to cover the event beginningFebruary 9 to 13.

Officials said China, along with Pakistan and Iran, wasalso not invited to participate in the show.

The issue of Chinese journalists being unable to registerfor accreditation was raised by a Chinese journalist at apress conference addressed by Secretary (Defence Production)Rajkumar Singh here.

"As far as accreditation is concerned, the list ofcountries is given by the External Affairs Ministry. We go bytheir advice on these issues," Singh said in his response.

Asked why China was not invited to participate in thebiennial exhibition, Singh said, "China was invited in thelast edition of the show but it didn''t come."

He added that "the answer would be better given by theEAM as we go by their advise."

Singh said along with China, Iran and Pakistan werealso not sent the invites for attending the show.

On whether the Defence Attaches of these countries inIndia would be invited to view the show, he said the decisionin this regard would be taken by the MEA only.

Officials said the names of China, Pakistan and Iranwere not considered by the committee, which selects countriesto be invited for the show.

The development comes against the backdrop of continuingrow between India and China over the latter''s visa policyunder which residents of Jammu and Kashmir and ArunachalPradesh are given stapled visas instead of the proper stampedones.

The situation took a turn last year when China denied aproper visa to the thenNorthern Army Commander Lt Gen B SJaswal as he was based in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jaswal was intending to travel to Beijing to take partin the Annual Defence Dialogue between the two sides.

India reacted strongly to this and suspended high leveldefence exchanges but China refuses to relent.

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