Missing the mark

visa w

Does it matter how a visa is fixed to your passport? If you are in India or China, it certainly does.

Because both nations are highly bureaucratic, you ask? Well, that might be part of the problem but the real issue is Arunachal Pradesh, or South Tibet as the Chinese refer to it.

For over sixty years China has laid claim to this 84,000-square kilometre strip of the lower Himalayas, although India has administered the region.

The ownership row remains unresolved: hence, the fiasco surrounding two teenage athletes from Arunachal who were meant to travel to the central Chinese city of Wuxi to take part in the World Youth Archery Competition this week.

Because the archers hail from the disputed region, Chinese embassy staff in Delhi stapled their visas into the two girls’ passports rather than stick them in, as they would normally do.

But when they got to the airport the girls were then prevented from flying because of their irregular documents. Despite their protests, they were unable to travel to the tournament.

The incident led to an outcry in India and there are even calls for the Indian prime minister to take China’s foreign ministry to task over the affair when he visits later this month.

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