India will send a military delegation to China on Sunday, marking a resumption of defence ties that were frozen for a year over a visa row, government and defence officials said. The eight-member delegation, headed by Major General Gurmeet Singh, will travel to Beijing and the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang on the six-day visit, a senior defence official said on condition of anonymity.
India suspended military exchanges in July last year after Beijing refused to provide a proper stamped visa to the then head of India’s Northern Army Command, which controls the region of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK). China controls a sliver of Kashmir and regards the region, which is also split with Pakistan, as disputed territory. India has been angered by its practise of providing special stapled visas for visitors from IHK. “We decided to pause defence exchanges because of these differences of opinion,” a second source in the government told on condition of anonymity.
“There were still phone calls and other contacts, but now with this visit we are seeing the resumption of normal, full-scale military exchanges,” said the official. Major General Singh, the delegation chief, heads the Delta Force, part of a specialised anti-insurgency unit deployed in IHK.