China defends issuing stapled visas to Arunachal Pradesh archers

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China defends stapled visas issue
New Delhi, Oct 15: Though Beijing regretted two the stapled visas of two Arunachal Pradesh archers and said that it was unfortunate that they could not participate in a sporting event in China, they indirectly defended the move to issue them stapled visas which prevented them from travelling to the country.

"We regret that the two young India athletes could not come to participate in the relevant competition," Chinese foreign ministryspokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and issues stapled visas

Hua also said that China's practice regarding visa was flexible pending the resolution of the boundary question. "This shows China's sincerity and flexibility," Hua said. "We hope the Indian side can work with the Chinese side and maintain the sound momentum of personnel exchange and cooperation across the board.'' She insisted Beijing's view of the boundary dispute was consistent and clear cut, reported TOI.

These comments come two days after India protested the stapled visas as "unsavory and unacceptable".

The archers, Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang, both 14, were forced to return from New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport due to stapled visas. The rest of their 24-member team flew to Guangzhou on Thursday.

The controversy came ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's China visit and a Chinese expert's criticism of India's stand on Brahmaputra issue. Observers said both moves are aimed to weakening Singh's arguments during the talks.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and issues stapled visas to Indians from the northeastern state to emphasize Beijing does not accept them as Indians.

OneIndia News

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