China invited for Bangalore Aero Show

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) India has decided to invite aChinese delegation for Aero India in Bangalore startingFebruary 9, a week after that country along with Pakistan andIran did not figure among the participating countries for thebiennial Air Show.

Chinese journalists would now also be allowed to getaccreditation to cover the show and officers concerned havebeen asked to provide full cooperation to them, DefenceMinistry officials told PTI here today.

"The External Affairs Ministry gave its clearance forallowing a Chinese delegation to visit the show on Friday andnecessary steps are being taken to facilitate their visit,"they said.

The Chinese delegation for the show is likely tocomprise its military officials based in the capital, theyadded.

Chinese journalists were barred from covering the showas the Defence Ministry did not keep any slot for China in thelist of countries whose journalists could apply online on itswebsite to make them eligible to cover the five-day event

Briefing newsmen on the show last week, Secretary(Defence Production) Rajkumar Singh had said the decision notto invite China was taken on the advice of the ExternalAffairs Ministry.

India had invited China for the 2009 edition of themega event but none had turned up for the show

Officials had said China, Pakistan and Iran were notconsidered by the committee concerned which selects countriesto be invited for the show.

Relations between India and China of late have beenmarked by a continuing row over Beijing''s visa policy underwhich residents of Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh aregiven stapled visas instead of the regular stamped ones.

T he situation took an ugly turn last year when Chinadenied a proper visa to the then Northern Army Commander LtGen B S Jaswal as he was based in J and K.

J aswal 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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