Reacting to China's reported stand that its policy of issuing stapled visas to people from Jammu & Kashmir would remain unchanged, India on Tuesday said it expected China to adhere to a uniform practice of issuing visas regardless of ethnicity or place of domicile of the applicant.

The observations come days before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Hanoi.

Sources said the Indian position on Chinese stapled visas had been very well articulated and this had also been “conveyed unambiguously to our Chinese friends.”

India had earlier said the Chinese policy of issuing visas on a separate sheet of paper for people domiciled in J&K, instead of stamping them on the passport as is the case with Indians from the rest of the country, “hit at the heart of the sovereignty of the country.”

India has put on pause high-level defence exchanges after China offered to issue a stapled visa to an Army general posted in J&K. The officer was to lead a high-level military delegation to China as part of the process of building bilateral military ties.

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