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China Denies Rift in Military Ties with India

  • VOA News

China is denying reports that defense exchanges with India have been suspended in a diplomatic dispute over Beijing's refusal to issue a visa to a top Indian general.

China's defense ministry issued a statement Saturday saying it had not stopped the exchanges, nor had it received any word from New Delhi about a halt in military-to-military dialogue.

Local media in India reported Friday that New Delhi had frozen military ties after Beijing denied a visa to an Indian general who oversees operations in the disputed Indian-controlled region of Kashmir.

Lieutenant General B.S. Jaswal was due to travel to China this month for high-level talks, but was notified he was not welcome because he controls Kashmir.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both and in part by China.

India summoned Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan on Friday to discuss the diplomatic dispute.

Although India and China marked 60 years of diplomatic ties this year, mistrust remains in the relationship due to territorial and other disputes.

India has objected to Beijing's practice of requiring residents of Indian Kashmir to obtain special visas to enter China printed on separate pieces of paper. Other Indians receive Chinese visa stamps in their passports.

India does not recognize Chinese visas printed on separate pieces of paper as valid. The practice effectively prevents Indian Kashmiris from entering China.

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