A matter of maps

On India’s reaction to new Chinese passports showing Arunachal Pradesh, part of J&K as its territory
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First Published: Sat, Nov 24 2012. 01 09 AM IST
Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times
It is not unusual for countries to take their wars to the map. Atavistic claims can, then, be pursued from the safety of two dimensions. China has reduced the scale further: it has issued new passports in which it shows Arunachal Pradesh and the north-eastern corner of Jammu and Kashmir, also known as Aksai Chin, as part of its territory.
India, for once, has reacted properly: instead of simply shooting off another démarche; it is issuing visa stickers that show proper boundaries of the country.
This may sound childish. It isn’t.
After skirmishes on actual borders in recent years, Chinese intentions are suspect and its actions should be taken note of. At the moment, it is undergoing a leadership transition and is, hence, in an “unusual” time. The Communist Party may be trying to buttress its nationalist credentials. But whatever the cause, the effect is not pleasant.
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First Published: Sat, Nov 24 2012. 01 09 AM IST
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