New Delhi : Since November last year, Indian nationals, including students, have not been able to travel to China because its Embassy has not been issuing visas while the Chinese people have been able to come here.
Stating this here today during a media briefing, External Affairs Minister spokesman Arindam Bagchi hoped the Chinese Embassy will issue visas to Indian nationals, who meet the eligibility, and ensure two-way travel is facilitated.
He said the government is in touch with the Chinese side to seek early resumption of travel by Indian citizens to China, especially for those who work or study there.
“Currently, persons from China, including Chinese nationals, are able to travel to India despite the absence of direct connectivity. However, for Indian nationals, travel to China has not been possible since last November as the Chinese side had suspended existing visas,” Bagchi said.
He said in March this year, the Chinese Embassy issued a notification about facilitating visas for those taking Chinese-made vaccines.
“It is understood that several Indian nationals have applied for Chinese visas after getting vaccinated in that manner but are yet to be issued visas,” the spokesman said.
“Since these Indian nationals have apparently met the requirements laid down by the Chinese side, we hope that the Chinese Embassy would be able to issue them visas soon,” he added.
“While we recognize the need to ensure safety and strictly follow Covid related protocols, essential two-way travel should be facilitated, especially keeping in view the fact that Chinese nationals are able to travel to India,” Bagchi said.
Regarding the continued military standoff at the Ladakh border, the MEA spokesman reiterated that completion of disengagement in all areas “would pave the way for the two sides to consider de-escalation of forces and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquility and enable progress in bilateral relations.”
He referred to the meetings between the two sides, including the 11th India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting held on April 9, and said “During these meetings, both sides agreed on the need to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols.”
It has been 13 months since the military standoff began after China launched aggression on the Ladakh border but so far, disengagement has taken place only in North and South of Pangong Lake. At other friction points, China has been showing reluctance in pulling back its troops.