India claims disputed borderlands with China in row over passports


The Indian embassy in Beijing has begun stamping Chinese visas with a map showing disputed border territory between the two countries as belonging to India. The move comes in apparent retaliation to China’s newly revised passports, which shows Arunachal Pradesh state and the Himalayan region of Aksai Chin as Chinese territory. India’s external affairs minister Salman Khurshid has described the Chinese passport map as “unacceptable.” China is a longtime weapons supplier to Pakistan, and as such is viewed in New Delhi with deep suspicion. While for Beijing, the presence on Indian soil of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and 120,000 other exiles from Tibet, is a source of resentment. According to New Delhi, China controls 16,000 square miles of India’s territory in Aksai Chin in Kashmir, while China claims that the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which shares a 650-mile border with the Beijing-run region of Tibet, is rightfully Chinese territory. India and China fought a month-long border war in 1962. Long stretches of the India-China border remain undemarcated, and despite 15 rounds of talks, territorial disputes remain unresolved. Inside the new Chinese passports, an outline of China printed in the upper left corner also includes Taiwan and the South China sea, hemmed in by dashes. The change highlights China’s longstanding claim to the sea in its entirety, though parts of the waters also are claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. (The Guardian)]]>


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