BEIJING, Jan 17 � China today said its policy that Arunachal Pradesh is a �disputed area� remains �unchanged�, days after it issued stapled visas to two Indian sportsmen from the state which it claims as �Southern Tibet�,
�China�s position is consistent and clear about the China-India border issue, including the disputed area of Eastern section and the Indian side is aware of it. The position has remained unchanged,� the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman�s office told this news agency here.
Eastern section of the India-China border covers the Arunachal sector which is part of the dialogue mechanism to resolve it. India-China so far held 14 rounds of talks without much success.
The Foreign Ministry issued the clarification today to a question asked last week over the controversy of issuing stapled visas to two Indian sportsmen from Arunachal to take part in the Weightlifting Grand Prix at Fujian province.
The two were turned away by the Indian immigration officials as India does not recognise the stapled visas, while External Affairs Ministry stated India will not honour such visas.
However Rong Ying, a Senior Research Fellow at the state-run China Institute of International Studies, said while China�s stand on the dispute remained unchanged, perhaps the stapled visas were given as a �pragmatic� step to allow people of Arunachal to visit China.
�Certainly we have to take the reality into consideration as it is a disputed area and also we have to be pragmatic if people wants to travel to China,� Rong, an India specialist at the Institute said.