India questions China on PoK

India questions China on PoK


The Indian diplomatic missive came a day after Beijing, in an unusually combative style, questioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
The tit-for-tat exchanges signalled a new low in bilateral diplomatic ties after the last one 11 years ago when the then defence minister George Fernandes had described China as India’s “potential enemy number one” in April 1998.

Reacting to a reported remark by Chinese President Hu Jintao that China would continue to engage in projects with Pakistan inside PoK, New Delhi on Wednesday reminded China that Pakistan had been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947 — the areas termed by India as PoK.

Long-term view
“The Chinese side is fully aware of India’s position and our concerns about Chinese activities in the PoK. We hope that the Chinese side will take a long-term view of the India-China relations, and cease such activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan,” a formal statement issued by the Manmohan Singh government said.

President Hu’s comments were carried in the Chinese official news agency Xinhua.
India has all along maintained that PoK is being illegally occupied by Pakistan, which has also illegally ceded a small portion of the PoK to China in 1959.

China is reported to have undertaken several development works in PoK, including road construction and power projects.

Just recently, India had also questioned another “unfriendly” move of China to adopt a visa procedure to Indian citizens from J&K, which is different from those adopted for Indians from other states.

India also made it clear it would impose visa curbs on Chinese workers travelling to India. From now on, India would only issue employment visas to highly skilled Chinese workers, and it would not grant business visas. Speaking to newspersons in Srinagar, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said: “Chinese workers can come to India only on employment visa, no more on business visas. We are going to issue employment visas only to highly skilled workers and it does not apply only to Chinese workers but to other countries as well. We are not going to issue any visas to unskilled and semi-skilled workers as we have plenty of them in India.”

While all these developments went contrary to the sprit of bilateral peace and confidence-building agreements signed by the two sides in 1993, 1996, 2003 and 2005, there was also some room for hope during the day that they might seek to cool the diplomatic tempers.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao indicated during the day his intentions to seek a meeting with Prime Minister Singh next week. Wen sought to know from petroleum and natural gas Murli Deora if Singh would be attending a scheduled meeting of ASEAN in Thailand slated for October 23-25. Deora informed Wen that the prime minister would indeed be travelling to Bangkok. The Chinese premier is reported to have conveyed to Deora that he was looking forward to meeting the Indian leader.


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