On Board PM's Special Aircraft: Amid criticism over China issuing stapled visas to two archers from Arunachal Pradesh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Saturday said "differing perceptions" on the border issue lead to such "unsavoury" incidents, but they should not affect cooperation in other areas.
"We have developed with China a very specific understanding which is a two-track process. There are some unresolved issues with China," Khurshid told reporters while returning with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from Indonesia.
"Essentially, the unresolved issue with China is the differing perception as far as the boundary is concerned," he said.
The Minister was asked about the recent incident of two archers from Arunachal who were not allowed to board a flight to Guangzhou due to stapled Chinese visas and whether these incidents would affect bilateral talks, especially ahead of Singh's visit to China later this month.
Top officials of Archery Association of India expressed shock and anger over the incident and sought immediate intervention of the government.
Mihu Maselo and Yumi Sorang -- both 14 years old -- were disallowed by China Southern Airlines authorities from boarding a Guangzhou-bound flight at the IGI Airport, saying they will not be allowed to enter China as they don't have affixed visa on their passport.
"On the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as well as the boundary, we have differing perceptions. These differing perceptions lead to some unsavoury and unacceptable events and incidents as far as we are concerned," Khurshid said.
"At the same time, over the years we have come to an understanding that within the areas that we don't have differences, India and China can continue to collaborate, cooperate and move forward.
"As far as the difference of perception on the boundary is concerned, we continue to handle them through the mechanism that we have put in place," he said.
"Some of these mechanisms deal with maintenance of peace and tranquillity at the boundary and the LAC and some of those mechanisms look at the long-term perspective of how we can move towards a final resolution of the border issue," Khurshid said.
"So, while this remains in process and in the pipeline, there are periodic incidents that take place for which we have our own standard procedures in place and we respond with those standard procedures," he said.
Khurshid, however, said he was not well informed about what exactly been done in this particular case.
"But we certainly regret that two young archers could not go to China because of this issue. This has happened before vis-a-vis visas given to residents of Arunachal Pradesh and we have resolved those matters, sometimes through diplomatic means and sometimes through just passage of time," he said.