India has put on hold visits by Chinese military officials after the government in Beijing refused entry to an Indian army officer, citing his command over “sensitive” Kashmir, Press Trust of India said.
The countries, which fought a war in 1962 over an Indian region claimed by China, have tried to ensure disputes along their 3,500-kilometer (2,175-mile) border, including in Kashmir, don’t damage economic ties. Still, India’s accommodation of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile and media reports of cross-border incursions by Chinese troops have raised tensions.
The visit of an Indian officer of the rank of general was agreed in January and fixed for July, the news agency said, citing sources it did not name. After India said it would send Lieutenant General B.S. Jaswal, in charge of forces in Jammu and Kashmir state, China replied that “people from this part of the world come with a different kind of visa,” PTI said.
China has refused to stamp visas in passports of people from Jammu and Kashmir as it treats the state as disputed, instead using loose sheets of paper not accepted by Indian immigration officials.
“While we value our exchanges with China, there must be sensitivity to each others’ concerns,” Prakash said. “Our dialogue with China on these issues is ongoing.”
In response, India has paused permission for two Chinese defense officials to visit and put off a trip by another Indian military official to China, PTI reported.