Beijing-New Delhi row escalates over security clearance for Great Wall Airlines
13 December 2007
New Delhi: The People's Republic of China has refused to accept India's offer of Delhi as a port of call for cargo carrier Great Wall Airlines, instead of Mumbai and Chennai as asked for by the carrier. Delhi's refusal comes as the country's security agencies have refused to provide the carrier clearance to fly to these two cities with several high profile security installations located in, or close to, these cities.
While Mumabi has the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre located within its confines, the city of Chennai has the Kalpakkam nuclear facility located close to it.
India's offer of Delhi as a compromise is not acceptable to China.
In a retaliatory move, China has now held up clearances for Air India to fly to Guangzhou as agreed to by both countries when Chinese president Hu Jintao visited India last November.
Also, blocked are Jet Airways' plans to fly to Chicago via Shanghai.
It argues that the application of the Great Wall Airline is in consonance with the air bilateral agreement between both countries.