Thursday, October 1, 2009



"The Hindu" has reported on October 1,2009, that the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi has been issuing visas on a separate sheet of paper to Indian citizens born and resident in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). A Chinese Embassy spokesman has been quoted as claiming that this is not a new practice and has been done even in the past.

2.From a perusal of the two reports from its New Delhi-based correspondent carried by the paper, it would seem that one or two Kashmiris,who are citizens of India, with plain paper visas issued by the Chinese Embassy, were not allowed to leave the country by the Indian immigration and they complained to this correspondent.

3. While the Chinese Embassy has tried to make out that this practice is nothing new, it must have been of recent origin. Otherwise, the Indian immigration would have noticed it and drawn the attention of the Ministry of External Affairs. The veracity of the Chinese claim can be easily established by the Indian Embassy in Beijing requesting Kashmiris ftrom India studying in China to produce their Indian passports in order to see whether they had travelled with plain paper visas. If so, there was definitely negligence on the part of the Indian immigration in not noticing this earlier.

4. The Chinese action in issuing such plain-paper visas to Indian citizens born and resident in J&K is a political statement meant to indicate that China does not recognise J&K as an integral part of India and that it agrees with the Pakistani contention that J&K is a disputed territory.

5.Chinese policy on J&K has passed through three stages. In the first stage till 1996 China automatically supported the Pakistani contention that J&K is a disputed territory and that the violence in J&K did not amount to terrorism.Following the visit of the then Chinese President Jiang Zemin to India and Pakistan in 1996, there was a nuanced change in the Chinese policy. They did not recognise J&K as an
integral part of India, but started avoiding words, actions or gestures which could be interpreted as their support to the Pakistani stand.During the Kargil conflict of 1999, the Chinese reportedly supported the US position that Pakistan should withdraw its troops from the Indian territory in the Kargil Heights and that the Line of Control should be respected. It was the Chinese reluctance to support Pakistan at the
time of the Kargil conflict during the visit to Beijing by Nawaz Sharif, the then Pakistani Prime Minister, which made him dash to Washington after returning to Islamabad and seek a US-backed face-saving before ordering the withdrawal of the Pakistani troops ftrom Indian territory.

6.The Chinese position had stood there since then. Their position till recently can be summed up as follows:Avoiding any action or words or gestures which could be interpreted as their support to either the Pakistani stand that J&K is a disputed territory or the Iindian stand that J&K is an integral part of India. At the same time, they have consistently maintained their past policy of refusing to categorise the violence in J&K as terrorism.

7.Their practice of issuing plain paper visas to Indian citizens born and resident in J&K, whenever it started, indicates their sliding back to their pre-1999 position of support to the Pakistani stand that J&K is a disputed territory and rejection of the Indian stand that J&K is an integral part of India.

8.India should not remain content with merely taking up this issue at the diplomatic level with China. There is a need for concrete action to express our displeasure over the insidious Chinese practice. The Indian diplomatic and consular missions in China should be asked not to issue any more work visas to Chinese selected by their companies to work in their projects in India. The visas of the Chinese already
working in India should not be extended when they expire. It should be made clear to the Chinese that the issue of work visas to Chinese nationals will be resumed only when their practice of issue of plain paper visas is discontinued. ( 2-10-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )


ambi said...

this is really infuriating sir! obviously china is punching above its weight.
i agree with you that goi shld not issue new visas to chinese until they stop this foolish practice.
foolishly enough they are going through the same superiority syndrome that hitler had.
i am a lay man & not a military or strategic expert, but with what ever little info i possess about china they are repeating the same mistakes that USSR did. one just has to read "the age of terbulance" by alan greenspan to assume what awaits in future for china.
a communist state, big or small (ussr, N korea), or a state of a country (w. bengal & kerala) is corrupt, monotonus, weakened inside and meets disastorous end in a disintegration. i am sure china is no exception to that.
when i saw the map of china i was aghast that how many territories china has occupied & how small actual china is. as with the time when tibet, urukmi and other territories will get freedom from chinese occupation, china should worry more about its relations with these countries, how much bad blood they have created. vigur violence has shook their concious. they now know what awaits them in future. i think this is the beging of some thing very dangerous.
i ve no doubtin my mind that like ussr, being a communist state this humpty dumpty is going to ve a great fall in the end. impressed by china, pakistan has tried to emulate the same story in the region and now paying the price for punching above its weight. pak has learned so much china. i think this is some thing china shld learn from pak.
as usual just love your views.

Anjaneya said...

Ramanji, there are other reasons why Chinese nationals should not be granted visas for some time -

1. Chinese are issued Business visas but proceed to take up salaried employment, not business development. This is not what the Business visa is meant for. They should apply for a work permit in that case.

2. there have been instances of Chinese workers indulging in violence in the tribal districts of Jharkhand. Violence by foreigners against indians in india shows what respect even the Chinese have for indian laws. Would this be tolerated in any other sovereign country? Similar incidents happen in Africa between locals and Chinese. Are we in the same category as sub saharan africa? Its a disgrace that GOI does not adopt a tougher line with Chinese.

സിമി said...

sir, if we take such a step, what would be the reciprocal actions from chinese? would they not start denying visas to Indians (students / businessmen).

Shaan said...

The Sri Lankan navy has killed at least 50 fishermen in the last fortnight for crossing over into Sri Lankan waters, sources from the Tamil Nadu government said.

Is this true?