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In this photograph taken on October 21, 2012, an Indian Army soldier patrols at Bumla Pass on the India-China border in the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. India is stamping its map on visas given to Chinese visitors, an Indian official said. – File photo by AFP
In this photograph taken on October 21, 2012, an Indian Army soldier patrols at Bumla Pass on the India-China border in the eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. India is stamping its map on visas given to Chinese visitors, an Indian official said. – File photo by AFP

NEW DELHI: India is stamping its map on visas given to Chinese visitors, an Indian official said Saturday, after China began issuing passports showing disputed territories as its own.

“We have started issuing visas with India’s map as we know it,” said a foreign ministry official, who did not wish to be named, declining to comment further.

India’s tit-for-tat action comes after China began issuing new biometric passports showing Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai China – regions that New Delhi claims – as part of Chinese territory.

And the response comes amid already strained ties between the two Asian giants.

Beijing has also included disputed islands in the South China Sea in the map outline on the new passports, angering both the Philippines and Vietnam, as well as areas including two of Taiwan’s most famous scenic spots.

Early this week, the Philippines foreign secretary wrote a protest note to the Chinese embassy and the Vietnam government said it has also lodged its objections with Beijing.

India’s The Hindu newspaper said the Indian government had decided not to take up the issue formally with China.

“It feels it will be better to speak through actions... than words,” the newspaper quoted an unidentified government official as saying.

Beijing has attempted to downplay the diplomatic fallout from the recently introduced passports, with a foreign ministry spokeswoman saying the maps were “not made to target any specific country”.

The disputed border between India and China has been the subject of 14 rounds of fruitless talks since 1962, when the two nations fought a brief, bloody war over the north-eastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

China’s build-up of military infrastructure along the frontier has become a major source of concern for India, which increasingly sees Beijing as a longer-term threat to its security than traditional rival Pakistan.

India is also wary of increased Chinese activity in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh which New Delhi sees as within its sphere of influence.

Comments (37) Closed

muthu Nov 24, 2012 12:30pm
China is raising hell with it's neighbours unnecessarily. There is increasing realisation in india that we need good relations with china as she's our largest trading partner. But the chinese government has an interest in keeping the enmity alive with all her neighbours. All dictatorships have the same problem. You need to invent enemies outside in order to keep the attention away from domestic problems.
Indian Nov 24, 2012 04:17pm
China is a great friend if you do not share a common border with China.
Ahmad - Aus Nov 24, 2012 12:27pm
china is GREAT.............
Cyrus Howell Nov 24, 2012 03:02pm
India and China do not fight wars of conquest, but if India went to war with China if would be the biggest mistake they ever make in 500 years. The India Military is just a shadow of the Chinese Military. Pakistan needs to be allied with China, not the United States. US foreign aid goes right into the pockets of greedy Pakistani politicians anyway.
akram Nov 24, 2012 04:33pm
i think its the other way round .... china will realise that no one can ever be a friend with Pakistan.. ....
Peace for all Nov 24, 2012 03:18pm
We have realised after 62 years who is our friend and who is our enemy.
Peace for all Nov 24, 2012 03:20pm
Actions not words make difference.
Rao Nov 24, 2012 01:16pm
Once I cheered Chou in Lai during his state visit and sang, " Hindi-Cini Bhai Bhai......". It seems it has all changed now. Now someone else is singing a similar tune, replacing the words!!
raika45 Nov 24, 2012 12:14pm
This Chinese dragon is up to something.It is flexing it's muscles in the region.Something is up.Pakistan may well worry of it's all weather friend.You have no idea as to what piece of the puzzle you are in China's game.China does not give millions without wanting anything in return.The question is, what will China ask of you when and if the fireworks start?
akram Nov 24, 2012 04:22pm
Pakistan needs to be in good relationship with China ....... Pakistan is a country which cannot defend itself on its own ... they need someone to help ... it used to be US and Europe all these years ..... now its China ..... even after 65 years of independence .... they are still begging ....... Long live Pakistan and China friendship ...... let the begging and scrounging continue .........
Kris Nov 25, 2012 03:31pm
Most of the readers have no clue what this article is about. China not only claims parts of India, it also claims parts and islands of other nations as well. Not tell me? which sane country will stamps it's map on passports. Why not put that stamps on all citizens as well. Show some artwork in form of tattoo along with Dragon.
P.Madheswaran Nov 25, 2012 10:15am
India and China have great past. They are always have love-hate relationship. But never in close touch and far distance. Both have peculiar relationship. But todays China wants to dominate the World, that's the problem.
Akhlesh Nov 25, 2012 12:21am
Mark has no wisdom! Go to China to see how that communist country keeps alive claims on the basis of what could have happened in AD 69.
Ahmed Sultan (India) Nov 25, 2012 08:04am
China has illegally occupied Tibet.
sali Nov 24, 2012 07:53pm
Do not be mistaken here. China is controlled by US imports and economy. New China cares only about dollar and they will sell out very quickly. India has too many narrow minded people to build a true friendship with Pakistan. Make Pakistan strong and depend on your own strength. Stop dividing and killing your own people because they are Shia, secular, different ethinicity,......
Eastwood Nov 24, 2012 07:46pm
Good comment! Not. Look at your raitings.
xarmatian Nov 24, 2012 06:47pm
we have been to war with china only fifty years ago and it doesn't figure as our greatest mistake.Most people believe it was a blessing in disguise and that we are better prepared
vjjjjjjjjj Nov 24, 2012 06:35pm
Perhaps if you were really from Australia, you would have got a chance to talk to some Chinese to know how they are tested by their governments. Dont be surprised if you hear about forced abortions and unconditional relocation, punishments, no freedom of any sort etc. Do you think Tibetans are fools to self immolate on daily basis.
masa Nov 25, 2012 04:39am
wake up Ibrahim. read good newspapers.
wateeb khan Nov 24, 2012 05:01pm
china is good country, chines gov. always helped pak and pak also helped china to become a member of ....
P.Madheswaran Nov 25, 2012 10:20am
Dear Ibrahim, It's a failure of Indian foreign policy. We are not dare to take decisions.But India is the best place in this Region in all respects.
vijaykumar,salem Nov 24, 2012 02:26pm
no body can ever be a friend with china.A day will come when even pakisthan realise this.
resilient. Nov 24, 2012 04:14pm
correct as they are respecting in Xingjiang....right..:)
peace Nov 24, 2012 03:46pm
china and chinese are very very nice with every nation culture and religion.
Sajid Nov 24, 2012 03:25pm
China is a trusted friend. A friend in deed. They have their own culture and life style but I found them respecting all the cultures. They are very hard working and realistic in approach. Long Live Pak China Friendship
Peace for all Nov 24, 2012 03:25pm
You are right, only 1000 politicians in parliament and assemblies might agree with foreign powers whatever they say but 180 million people will never agree with US. On ground the situation is different what we see on media.
xeroxus Nov 24, 2012 04:44pm
you conveniently missed out impact of such a war on china.sitting in beijing's lap may be comforting but hasn't broufgt tangible benefits to pakistan.
Just Guess Nov 24, 2012 04:53pm
You are your own worst enemies.
Atif Nov 25, 2012 11:31am
A good comment always gets low rating thanks to Indian influx :)
Ibrahim Shamsi Nov 24, 2012 03:06pm
Dear Vijay, Sorry to be the one to show you the reality but the fact is that no one can be India's friend. India is the largest country in the SAARC region but unfortunately has not been able to have friendly relations with any of its neighbors. Please learn to live with peace in the neighborhood. Please sto the scheming evil deeds. Live and let live. Bullies always lose in the long run. On the flip side China has many friends in the world, neighbors and otherwise just as Pakistan.
ROHIT PANDEY Nov 24, 2012 07:13pm
ROHIT PANDEY Nov 24, 2012 07:12pm
They respect all cultures? Including that of Xinjiang? Oh come on?
Mark Wisdom Nov 24, 2012 03:59pm
China is Pakistan's friend in need. India should learn to live peacefully with its neighbours and respect their soverignity. It seems Indian policy makers are living in past and frame their policies based on what happened 300 hundred years ago. Keeping petty grudges alive is not healthy for their nation nor it creates harmony in the region. Indian politicians and media keep spewing this venom of hatred and spread it among its masses because it only sells in India.
Sauron Nov 24, 2012 05:17pm
Forgive my crudeness: Friendship is between equals... and even then Countries have no friends or enemies, only interests.
vjjjjjjjjj Nov 25, 2012 02:21pm
I see no reason why India should fear for China. A revolution towards democracy is imminent in China, and surely China will crumble on its own weight just like Russia/ middle east countries, in less than a decade and resurrect taking the path of democracy. By that time I guess the border issues will be resolved. Dawn missed to report that China has territorial issues with Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia, Japan and off course Tibet. Visa issues concerns all the nations mentioned above and not just India.
Real baat Nov 24, 2012 03:33pm
Dude... 80 billion trade between India n China presently.. and will be 100 billion soon. I appreciate Indian propaganda for present issue to increases military expenditure and arm purchase justification to world.....India, US, Japan playing in calculative way for counter balance ....forget war between two economic powers....
Just Guess Nov 24, 2012 04:48pm
A simple-minded analysis will support what you are saying, however, scratch beneath the surface and a much more complex picture emerges. I think a Chinese aggression on India will be a boon for India as it will unite Indians like nothing else can.