Chinaloves to keep the pot boiling with countries it perceives as potential rivals, a fact no more evident than it is with its dealings with India in recent years. China’s recent decision to deny a visa to Indian Lt. General B. S. Jaswal, head of the Northern Command, is therefore just another example of its determination to find new issues to further complicate the already complex web of India-China differences.
The game is being played at multiple levels with Jammu and Kashmir, which is seen by China as an area of ‘international dispute’ in the same way as Arunachal Pradesh. At first glance, it seems a relatively recent diplomatic gambit. But it’s one that was first introduced some years ago, when the planned visit to Ladakh by the People’s Liberation Army Commander of the Lanzhou Military Region that covers Xinjiang (which sits opposite Jammu and Kashmir) was cancelled at the last moment by China on the grounds that Pakistan had protested that the territory is disputed. This move was soon followed by a visa denial to an official from the state on similar grounds, while last year, the Chinese embassy followed up by inventing a new method of giving stapled visas.