India has put all defence exchanges with China on hold till the matter of denial of permission to an Army general is sorted out.
India, which has already lodged its protest with China for denying permission to Northern Commander Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, on Friday, said the Chinese action is “unacceptable”.
In a retaliatory action, New Delhi refused permission to three Chinese officers — a senior colonel and two captains — to visit India in August.
Lt. Gen. Jaswal, General Officer-in-Commanding of Udhampur-based Northern Command, was to visit China as part of defence exchanges, sources said here on Friday.
The visit by a General-rank officer to China was agreed upon between the two countries in January during the Annual Defence Dialogue, the sources said.
However, at that time it was not decided as to who will be sent by India, they said.
When India conveyed its decision to send Lt. Gen. Jaswal, China wrote back on July 21 suggesting that some other officer may be sent.
Angry at the Chinese move, India issued to it a demarche (protest note) on August 2.
It also retaliated by refusing permission to a senior colonel who had to deliver a “guest lecture” at the National Defence College and two captains who were to visit Panchmarhi for a course.
Sources said the denial of permission to Lt. Gen. Jaswal was a “matter of concern” as it has “introduced further complexities” in the relations.
New Delhi made it clear that the defence exchanges will remain “on hold” till the issue is addressed.
“Whatever will be the consequences, the Chinese side will be solely responsible,” a source said.