China passports anger India
India has objected to new Chinese passports that label disputed regions along the joint border as Chinese, Indian officials and news reports said on Friday.
- Published: 23/11/2012 at 08:55 PM
- Newspaper section: news
The computer-chip passports are equipped with a map that has also angered people in Taiwan and the Philippines by showing some of their territory as Chinese.
Sources in the Indian government said Beijing was issuing e-passports to its citizens that showed a map which includes the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, a region in Kashmir, as part of China.
Indian missions in China have retaliated by issuing visas with an Indian version of the maps that mark these regions as belonging to India.
Currently, India administers Arunachal Pradesh, while China administers Aksai Chin. India disputes China's rule over 38,000 square kilometres of land in Aksai Chin, while China has laid claims to 90,000 square kilometres of territory in Arunachal Pradesh.
India had not taken up the matter with China, but this could be possible in the next few days, the official said.
The row comes just ahead of National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon's visit to China for talks on bilateral border problems, NDTV reported.
In past years, China has refused to give visas to visitors from Arunachal Pradesh, claiming it was a Chinese territory. It had also started issuing separate visas to visitors from the state of Jammu and Kashmir, claiming it was not a part of India.
Boundary issues have often soured Sino-Indian relations, which have seen an improvement in recent years, driven by economic and trade ties. China has become India's largest trading partner in recent years, with volumes touching $75 billion annually.
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- Writer: DPA