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A military hotline between India and China to be operational soon

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Beijing: A military hotline between the armed forces headquarters of India and China is expected to become operational soon, according to defence ministry officials here. Yang Yujun, spokesman for the ministry of defence, told visiting Indian journalists on Tuesday, that direct telephonic links between the general headquarters of the two countries is expected to be set up in the near future.

Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun (IANS)
Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun (IANS)

He said that such a mechanism was necessary to “increase mutual trust, avoid misjudgements and prevent crisis” from developing. Yang, who has the Indian equivalent title of brigadier-general, said talks in this regard were in an advanced stage.

Later, other officials said that once the main hotline was established, more such direct links between senior military officers in the field would be set up. The spokesman also said that consultancy mechanism between China and India on the border issue and consultations at various levels was “functioning”. He was asked about a sentence in the white paper on China’s Military Strategy, released on May 26 this year, which stated, “certain disputes over land territory are still smouldering”.

The spokesman said that this was in the context of some disputes which were “leftover from colonialism” and referred to north-east Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, thus steering it away from China-India border question.

Later, Xu Quyu, deputy chief of the institute for strategy at the National Defense University explained that something was lost in translation. In Chinese, the exact words used were “still there” and not the word “smouldering.”

Officials also informally explained that the incursions seen on the India-China border often happened from both the sides and was the result of a lack of a clear demarcation. (IANS)

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)