Wang Yi’s false claim to Ajit Doval at BRICS NSA’s meeting stands exposed

New Delhi: Just hours after the Chinese authority issued stapled visas to three sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh evoking strong protests from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the President of People’s Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping on Friday called on young people from around the globe to “join hands to promote world peace and development”. Xi made these remarks while addressing a welcoming banquet ahead of the opening ceremony of the 31st summer edition of the FISU World University Games in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China’s Sichuan Province. “India views Xi’s remarks as something that exposes his hypocrisy and double standards.

While his country issues stapled visas to young athletes from India’s Arunachal Pradesh, leading to withdrawal of the Indian team from the games, the Chinese President is calling on the youth to participate in the movement for ensuring global peace,” a diplomat in New Delhi told The Sunday Guardian. “One can see the height of hypocrisy as Xi’s remarks are coming just ahead of the World University Games in which our players were going to participate, but they were handed stapled visas,” the diplomat added. Diplomats also say that Xi’s appeal to the youth to join hands to promote world peace and development is hollow and hypocritical.

In fact, in a late-night drama on Thursday, the Indian government had to ask its Wushu team, scheduled to leave for China to participate in the World University Games, not to board the flight. The decision came after three athletes from Arunachal Pradesh were handed stapled visas by the Chinese authorities here. India quickly lodged a protest with the Chinese diplomats over the same. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “This is unacceptable and we have lodged our strong protest with the Chinese side reiterating our consistent position on the matter and India reserves the right to suitably respond to such actions.” “Our long-standing and consistent position is that there should be no discrimination or differential treatment based on domicile or ethnicity in the visa regime for Indian citizens holding valid India passports,” Bagchi said.

The MEA spokesperson did not, however, share any further details about how India is going to use the right to suitably respond to China’s action of issuing stapled visas to athletes from Arunachal Pradesh. A diplomatic source privy to interactions and meetings at South Block told The Sunday Guardian: “India is likely to toughen its position on China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC), China’s connivance with Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, and Beijing’s belligerence in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean.” “India is also likely to send ‘meaningful’ messages on Tibet in retaliation to China’s action on Arunachal Pradesh. Delhi will try to garner support from the international community including the United States to flay China for another show of disrespect to sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries (read India),” a diplomat told this newspaper.

The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) has already approved, on a bipartisan basis, a resolution reaffirming Arunachal Pradesh’s status as an integral part of India. The US had also “strongly opposed China’s attempts to advance a claim over the Indian territory Arunachal Pradesh, by renaming localities”.

China reverting to issuing stapled visas to sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh exposes Chinese diplomat Wang Yi’s false claim to NSA Ajit Doval that China does not pose any threat to India. Doval and Wang had met in South Africa recently on the sidelines of the BRICS NSAs’ meeting. Wang had also said that the bilateral ties were stabilizing. Doval had given a strong message to Wang over LAC. Sources aware of strategy being discussed at MEA say that while India will not officially on record speak about the Tibet issue, messages will be given to China through diplomatic and other official channels. “Former diplomats and bureaucrats are free to use social media to ventilate their strong views on India’s One-China policy. The message will be well-received by China,” an official said.

A tweet from Congress MP Shashi Tharoor which is being seen as a strong message for China is going viral. He tweeted, “Enough is enough. Instead of frustrating our sportsmen & every other Arunachali seeking a Chinese visa, we should simply start issuing stapled visas ourselves, to anyone applying for an Indian visa from Tibet. And say we will continue to do so until the disputed border between Tibet and India is settled.” According to sources, suggestions are coming saying that India should issue stapled visas to those living outside China’s actual area.

Over the years, China has been denying stamped visas to people from Arunachal Pradesh. It maintains a segregated approach to areas it considers disputed. India has been raising the issue with the Chinese. China has consistently denied stamped visas to Indian citizens from Arunachal Pradesh, citing territorial dispute.