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India vs China: Diplomatic Tit for Tat on Display?

India has never been so upset with China as it is now over the issue of Beijing blocking Pakistan-based Islamist leader Maulana Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations (UN). Azhar’s Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group is blamed for the 2 January attack on the Pathankot airbase in Punjab.

The diplomatic quid pro quo soon rolled out in the form of irking China where it makes more sense. India has issued visas to four Chinese Uyghur nationals, including one termed as terrorist by China in the past. They are given visa to visit India and meet the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, next week.

In fact, the provocation began last year with the Chinese plan to build a $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, including roads, railways and pipelines, in Kashgar, Chinese Xinjiang province and running through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir till Karachi.

Revealing the visa-issuance, Dolkun Isa, whom China branded a "Terrorist" and chairman of the executive committee of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), which is fighting for freedom on the lines of Tibet. Now Isa said that the delegation was travelling to India for a conference which was to be addressed by the Dalai Lama.

India and China had fought the 1962 war over border problems but the main trigger was allowing Dalai Lama in 1959 following a failed uprising in Tibet. Many analysts say the India-China war of 1962 was sparked by Chinese anger towards India following the grant of asylum to the Tibetan spiritual leader.

China has snubbed India at the UN using its veto over Azhar case. When India raised its voice, Beijing said India and Pakistan should resolve the issue bilaterally before asking China to intervene or not to intervene in the issue. Now that India has granted visa to Uyghur separatists in China, any protest from Beijing will be summarily rejected saying it’s an internal issue to be settled between Uyghurs and the Chinese government. Tit for Tat?

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