On Thursday, New Delhi lodged a firm protest against Beijing’s issuance of ‘stapled visas’ to three athletes from Arunachal Pradesh, India, who were planning to participate in the World University Games in China. The stapled visa practice involves attaching the visa to the passport with a staple instead of directly stamping it.
China’s decision to use this form of visa stems from its longstanding claim that Arunachal Pradesh is part of its territory, a claim India has consistently refuted. Anurag Srivastava, a spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, expressed India’s strong objections, asserting the country’s right to sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh.
This move is not an isolated incident, as China has previously issued stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir for similar reasons. The issuance of these visas adds to the already tense relations between India and China and raises concerns about the ongoing territorial disputes between the two nations.
In response to China’s actions, India emphasised the importance of fair and non-discriminatory visa regulations for its citizens, emphasising that the visa regime should not be based on domicile or ethnicity. Arunachal Pradesh covers nearly 90,000 square kilometers according to China, which refers to it as Zangnan or South Tibet.