India warns China over Kashmir
New Delhi (AFP) Oct 14, 2009
India raised the pitch of an increasingly testy row with China over disputed border areas Wednesday, warning Beijing about its involvement in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
"The Chinese side is fully aware of India's position and our concerns about Chinese activities," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said in response to a Chinese statement that it would remain engaged in Pakistan.
"We hope that the Chinese side will take a long-term view of the India-China relations and cease such activities in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan," Prakash said.
The remarks came a day after India and China traded diplomatic jabs over a recent visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to an Indian border region at the core of a long-standing dispute between the neighbours.
Singh visited Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India on October 3 to campaign ahead of state elections there, but refrained from saying anything on China or the border dispute.
Last month, China offered financial help to Pakistan to build a multibillion-dollar dam in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which led New Delhi to complain to Islamabad.
India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, which each administers in part but both claim in full. The region was split following the partition of the subcontinent at the end of British rule in 1947.
India and China also fought a brief but bitter border war in 1962 in India's far northeast.
Last month, Pakistan and China signed a memorandum of understanding to build the 12.6-billion-dollar Diamir-Bhasha dam on the Indus river in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
The agreement was signed between Pakistan's Ministry of Water and Power and China's Three Gorges Project Corporation, which built the giant Three Gorges dam in China.
The project will be built by China on a BOOT -- build, operate, own and transfer -- basis, Pakistan media reported.
China is an ally of Pakistan, supplying investment and industry know-how and is accused by India of supplying weapons, including missile technology.
Wednesday's protest is the latest in a series of tensions to buffet uncomfortable India-China relations.
China has also been upset by New Delhi allowing Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh next month.
Earlier this month, India lodged a formal protest with Beijing over a new practice of issuing special Chinese visas for residents of Indian Kashmir, which is viewed by China as disputed territory.
New Delhi noticed that Kashmiris applying to the Chinese embassy in New Delhi received visas issued on loose sheets of paper and stapled -- rather than stamped -- into their passports.
The practice resulted in some being prevented by Indian immigration officials from boarding their flights on the grounds that the visas were not valid.
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