PoK construction work, stapled visa to figure during Krishna's China visit

Posted By: Staff
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New Delhi, Apr 3 (ANI): A host of issues, including China's involvement in construction projects in Pak Occupied Kashmir (PoK), stapled visas for Kashmiris and the imbalance in trade with China are likely to be raised during External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna's China visit starting from Monday.

Krishn's four-day official visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China.

Briefing media on the visit, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said a whole gamut of bilateral, regional and international issues will be reviewed during Krishna's talks in Beijing with Chinese leadership.

This is the first high level bilateral visit since the UPA Government began its second innings and the first by S. M. Krishna since he took over the External Affairs Ministry.

Joint Secretary (East Asia), Gautam Bambawale said India is of the view that a uniform practice should be followed with regard to issuing of visa regardless of ethnicity and domicile of Indian nationals.

He said the issue involves national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"India has already taken up the issue of Chinese construction in PoK at several levels, " said Prakash.

The ministry reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and any construction there by a foreign body is illegal.

Prakash said China has made it clear that the Kashmir issue should be resolved bilaterally by India and Pakistan.

On the imbalance in trade, New Delhi will seek greater access of Indian goods to Chinese markets, with the trade deficit touching 15.8 billion dollars last year.

The volume of two-way trade has increased phenomenally from 1.8 billion dollars in 2000 to 43 billion dollars last year, despite the global meltdown.

There was an increase of trade in the first two months of this year by 50 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year.

"India is keen to build on positives to fulfill the development aspirations of the two countries," Prakash said.

The two sides should narrow down the divergences and should be sensitive to each other's concerns," he added.

During his stay in China, Krishna will also inaugurate Festival of India and attend a function to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two Asian giants.

The official said India will also participate in a big way in Shanghai World Expo in May. (ANI)

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