In a gesture to create deeper people to people engagement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced e tourist visas for Chinese tourists.
The e visas seem to be a one sided gesture in terms of its commitment even though the two countries have signed two dozen agreements covering many areas of cooperation.
A notable absentee in the entire engagements so far is India’s views on China’s transcontinental connectivity project – the ‘one belt one road’ project. On the other side, the Chinese leadership also has not publicly raised India’s stand on the matter.
The visit of Mr Modi is taking place at a time when China is on the track of extending its command to different parts of Asia including its complete domination in the East China Sea.
Blooming of sinocentric endeavors like the creation of AIIB and the One Belt One Road Project have so far attracted even countries from the rival camp.
For India, the granting of e tourist visas to Chinese is a big token of friendship and trust as it indicate that there is no risk in allowing Chinese people in India within a quick time.
The e visas can be obtained by applying at least five days before the visit by the foreign passport holder. These visas were introduced in 2010 under the name visa on arrival and later renamed as e tourist visas (e tourist authorization or ETA). The new budget has extended the e tourist visa facility to 150 countries, which doesn’t include Pakistan and China.
The meetings between the Indian delegation and several Chinese political leaders have produced as many 24 agreements including railways, education and smart cities.
The agreements include the creation of trade consultative mechanism which will discuss the trade issues. India’s trade deficit with China is nearly $48 billion and is widening.
It is expected that further economic engagement promoting measures will be reached on Saturday.