China denies visa to IAS officer from Arunachal

New Delhi, May 25 | Updated: May 26 2007, 05:30am hrs
Chinese territorial claims over Arunachal Pradesha key component of the longstanding boundary dispute with Indiahas once again come in the way of bilateral interactions, acting as a major party pooper for a group of IAS officers headed for a management program to China.

A study visit of 107 IAS officers to Beijing and Shanghai, part of a programme to learn more about Chinese economic growth and policies, has been cancelled because of Beijings refusal to grant visa to one IAS officer hailing from Arunachal Pradesh.

The denial of visa to the officer, Ganesh Koyu, a 52-year-old promotee, obviously stems from Chinas refusal to accept Arunachal Pradesh as part of the Indian territory. In fact, Beijing is understood to have pointed out that the man in question is a Chinese citizen. An Arunachali, Koyu is presently secretary-in-charge of panchayati raj, textiles and handicrafts in the Arunachal government. Beijings decision not to play host to an Arunachali was conveyed to New Delhi earlier this week. The officers from the 1991 batch, who on Thursday finished first part of their training program at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy in Mussoorie and were in anticipation of their China leg of the program, will now report back to their respective posts. They were to visit the National School of Administration in Beijing and the China Executive Leadership Academy, Pudong in Shanghai and interact with their Chinese counterparts for two weeks.

The public policy analysis-training programme, sponsored by the government, was devised by IIMs in collaboration with three US universities, including Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public affairs and designed to help officers take on administrative challenges presented by Indias rapid economic growth.

Sources here contend that the inclusion of the Arunachali officer could not have been an oversight, when China has refused to acknowledge the northeastern state as Indian territory. Earlier, the Chinese had denied visa to an Arunachal chief minister to visit Beijing.