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India, China in new border spat

New Delhi, Nov 23, 2012, DHNS 1:47 IST
Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid looks on while addressing journalists at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in New Delhi on November 21, 2012.  AFP
New Delhi has termed unacceptable the maps on the new e-passports being issued by Beijing, as they have depicted Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as territories of China.

Indian Embassy in Beijing responded by issuing visas to Chinese nationals with a map of India, showing both Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as parts of the country.

“We are not prepared to accept it (map showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as territory of China),” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told a TV-channel on Friday. “We will ensure that our flags of disagreement are put out immediately when something happens.”

The row came up at a time when India and China are preparing to hold the last round of talks on boundary dispute before the change of guard in Beijing. National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, India’s Special Representative for talks with China on the boundary dispute, is likely to travel to Beijing soon for the last round of parleys with his counterpart Dai Bingguo.

Bingguo, who now holds the office of State Councilor of China, is set to step down in March 2013, when Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will replace Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao as the communist country’s President and Premier respectively. India has conveyed to China its hope that a new Special Representative would be appointed at an early date after the change of leadership in Beijing, so that the parleys on the issue of boundary dispute could go on.

China has also used its new e-passports to assert its claims on disputed islands in South China Sea, triggering protests from Philippine and Vietnam.

New Delhi alleges that Beijing is illegally occupying approximately 38,000 sq kms of Indian territory in Jammu and Kashmir. In addition, Islamabad ceded 5,180 sq kms of Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China in 1963. China illegally claims approximately 90,000 sq kms of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh and about 2,000 sq. kms in the middle sector of the boundary between the two nations.

China in the past used various means to assert its claim on Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, including denying visa from people from those regions or putting maps showing those areas as parts of its own territory.

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