KATHMANDU, Oct 19: Besides issuing separate visas to Indian passport holders from Jammu and Kashmir, China is also projecting the disputed territory as an independent country in other ways.
Visitors to Tibet, especially journalists invited by the Chinese government, are given handouts where Kashmir is indicated as a country separate from India.
Media kits providing "basic information" about Tibet –– which China attacked and annexed in the 1950s –– says Tibet "borders with India, Nepal, Myanmar and Kashmir area".
Except the "Kashmir area", the other three are sovereign countries.
Maps too, available in China, Myanmar and Nepal, show an India denuded of Kashmir.
Also, China’s policy of extending assistance to only the government of a country indicates it considers India’s nuclear rival and neighbour Pakistan to be in control of Pakistan-administered Kashmir by offering financial assistance to build a dam on the Indus river there.
China, now locked in a row with India, is also asking for the tightening of the open border between India and Nepal that, it says, is abetting anti-China activities and demonstrations by Tibetans crossing into Nepal from India.
Beijing is also indirectly asking for the closure of the seat of the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of the Tibetans, in Dharamshala in India, hinting that such a step would improve India-China relations.
China, which fought a war with India in 1962, says Arunachal Pradesh belongs to it. India says it is an integral and inalienable part of India.
On the eve of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh in November, China has been hurrying Nepal to deploy armed security forces along the border between northern Nepal and Tibet.
Both Nepal’s Home Minister Bhim Rawal and Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal recently visited Mustang, the northernmost district in Nepal to assess the security plan.
Mustang was once both part of an ancient Tibetan kingdom and later the base of anti-China guerrilla attacks by Tibet’s Khampa warriors. THE SENTINEL