China non-committal on resolving visa issue (ANI Exclusive)

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New Delhi, Dec.13 (ANI): China's Ambassador to India Zhang Yan on Monday appeared to be non-committal on the stapled visa issue involving residents of Jammu and Kashmir, just saying that it being discussed with the Indian Government, and adding that Beijing is aware of New Delhi's opposition to it.

"This issue has been discussed, we are aware about the issue," Ambassador Zhang Yan said on the sidelines of a function in the capital this morning.

He also said that all steps were being taken by the Chinese and Indian governments to ensure Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's successful visit to the country later this week.

Indian officials have recently said that Beijing has given an assurance that the issue of giving stapled visas to those from Jammu and Kashmir will be resolved and that it will not affect bilateral diplomatic exchanges.

New Delhi is seeing the move as a positive signal for bilateral ties, especially ahead of Wen Jiabao's visit to India from Wednesday.

If solved, it will also help in easing of some irritants, which occurred in the past one year between the two countries.

China has also said this issue will not affect bilateral diplomatic exchanges, they said.

They said India and China have shown an ability to manage difficult issues in their relationship despite problems like the boundary dispute and the stapled visa issue.

The sources said the growing trade imbalance against India is posing a big problem and steps would have to be taken to address it.

India-China bilateral trade is expected to touch a record 60 billion dollars this year. Sino-India trade has already crossed 49.84 billion dollars this October with Indian exports alone touching 17 billion dollars, while China continue to have a sway with 32.87 billion dollars worth of exports.

India, on the other hand, is suffering a record trade deficit of 15.9 billion dollars this year.

On the boundary issue, sources said the Special Representatives were making steady progress but it will take some time before a solution could be hammered out. (ANI)

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