India Suspends Defense Exchanges With China

Indian media and government sources say India has suspended defense exchanges with China in a new dispute between the neighboring Asian giants.

The Times of India says India's move is in retaliation for China's denial of a visa to an Indian general who oversees operations in the disputed Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir.

The newspaper says Lieutenant General B S Jaswal was due to travel to China this month for high-level talks but received word from Beijing that he was not welcome because he controls a disputed region.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in full by both and in part by China.

The Indian foreign ministry has confirmed that the general did not make his planned visit to China. It said New Delhi "values its exchanges" with Beijing but said there must be "sensitivity to each others' concerns."

It gave no details of New Delhi's response to the cancelation of the general's visit, but said its "dialogue with China on these issues is ongoing."

India and China marked 60 years of diplomatic ties this year and enjoy flourishing trade. But mistrust remains in the relationship due to territorial and other disputes.

India has objected to Beijing's practice of requiring residents of Indian Kashmir to obtain special visas to enter China printed on separate pieces of paper. Other Indians receive Chinese visa stamps in their passports.

India does not recognize Chinese visas printed on separate pieces of paper as valid. The practice effectively prevents Indian Kashmiris from entering China.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, Reuters and Times of India