(TibetanReview.net, Jul25, 2016) – Reportedly due to security concerns, India has refused to give further visa extensions to three senior Chinese journalists and has asked them to leave the country by the end of this month. Of the three, Wu Qiang is the Delhi bureau chief of Xinhua, China’s main official news agency, while Lu Zhang is the agency’s Mumbai bureau chief. The third journalist, She Yonggang, is a reporter based in Mumbai.
While India has officially refused to comment on the development, timesofindia.indiatimes.com Jul 24 said India’s step was prompted by adverse reports from intelligence agencies which suspected the trio of impersonating other people and visiting restricted facilities under assumed names.
In fact, firstpost.com Jul 24 cited India’s Ministry of Home Affairs as saying the Chinese journalists had recently travelled to Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) and met with Tibetan activists, which raised a concern for the Indian authorities.
Officially, however, The Hindu newspaper Jul 24 quoted Indian government sources as saying, “The three journalists had overstayed their visa and subsequently they had received several visa extensions. So we asked them to go back as it is no longer possible to give them visa extensions.”
And The Wire news service has cited an Indian government source as saying, “We were giving them these short extensions as they wanted to stay on till their successor was there. But, since their successors were not here even after months, we gave them a cut-off date.”
India hopes that Xinhua will soon send their replacement.
The firstpost.com report said the three expelled journalists were experts on Indian affairs, with Lu Tang working with researchers on India-China relations. HindustanTimes.com reported Jul 24 that Lu had graduated in International Relations from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and had also studied in Gujarat.