(TibetanReview.net, Aug08’19) – China’s reported denial of visas for Indian pilgrims to Tibet over New Delhi’s Aug 5 move to change the status of Ladakh became only a delay as the latest batch of Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims are now already on their way, according to Indian news reports Aug 8. China has finally granted the visas for a group of Indian pilgrims for the Kailash Mansarovar yatra who left for Tibet on Aug 7, reported deccanchronicle.com Aug 8.
“Chinese visas for Kailash Masarovar Yatra have been granted to the Indian pilgrims as usual. There has not been any problem with it,” indiatoday.in Aug 7 quoted a source in the Chinese embassy as saying.
India on Aug 5 revoked Article 370 of its constitution which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The state is now bifurcated into two centrally administered union territories – Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
China particularly objects to change of Ladakh’s status as it includes Aksai Chin, which is under its rule but is claimed by New Delhi as a part of the new union territory. “The recent unilateral revision of domestic laws by the Indian side continues to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty, which is unacceptable and will not have any effect,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement Aug 6.
The decision to resume granting of pilgrimage visas came as India’s External affairs minister Mr S Jaishankar prepared to begin a three-day visit to China from next week. It is seen as a preparatory for the second informal summit in India between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October.
Besides, China has been expressing continued worry that New Delhi may exclude the country’s globally controversial Huawei company from bidding for the latter’s 5G internet services rollout. It has been issuing threats of retaliations should its apprehensions come true.