New Delhi: Despite relations getting sour in the wake of dragon’s denial of visa to the senior IAF officer Group Captain M Panging hailing from Arunachal Pradesh, India remains firm on its earlier stand to send the military delegation to China.

As part of defence exchanges programme, the staff officers’ delegation will travel to China on 4-day visit starting from January 10. However the size of delegation has been reduced to 15.

The decision marks a change of stance as the government had on Friday put on hold the visit in response to the provocative action by China of denying visa to Panging.

The delegation will also visit Chinese capital Beijing along with Nanjing and Shanghai. The Indian government’s decision is being seen as a step to defuse tension arising out of current visa row.

External Affairs Ministry was of the view that inclusion of Arunachal officer in the delegation visiting China will normalize the relations with its neighbour after it denied the visa to the officer.   

Significantly, China has been claiming Arunachal as its part. Despite Indian opposition over the issue, China has been denying the visa to the persons belonging to Arunachal.

China was also issuing stapled visas to the Jammu Kashmir residents but stopped to do so after India vehemently opposed the dragon's move.

Chinese high commission on July, 2010 had denied the visa to erstwhile Northern Army Command Chief Lt General B S Jaswal who was deployed in J&K. Reacting to that, India not only cancelled the military delegation visiting China but also halted the strategic relations with them.