New Delhi: India on Friday termed as "unacceptable" China depicting Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as its territory in maps of the country on their new e- passports, a step that led to retaliatory action by New Delhi.
China sprung the surprise on India when it showed these territories as part of its own in the maps on their new e-passports.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing responded by issuing visas to Chinese nationals with a map of India including Arunachal and Aksai Chin as part of its territory.
In India's first official reaction, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said,"We are not prepared to accept it."
"We, therefore, ensure that our flags of disagreement are put out immediately when something happens. We can do it in an agreeable way or you can do it in a disagreeable way," he told NDTV.
China, on its part, sort of fudged the issue with its Foreign Ministry Spokesperson saying that the matter should be dealt with in a "level headed and rational manner" to avoid "unnecessary disruptions" to people to people exchanges.
"Hope the countries regard it in a cool-headed manner. China would like to maintain communication with other counties to ensure convenience of travel for both Chinese and foreigners", she said in Beijing.
After the Chinese government started issuing new e- passports, carrying pages with watermark Chinese maps including Arunachal and Aksai Chin as its parts, India hit back by issuing visas to Chinese nationals with a map of India including these places as part of its territory.
Earlier also, China had triggered a diplomatic row by issuing stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, terming it as a "disputed territory" and denied visas to those hailing from Arunachal Pradesh.
Peeved over this action, India lodged a strong protest with China which subsequently reverted to issuing normal visas to residents of J-K but without officially admitting that they were doing so.