(TibetanReview.net, Jun13’23) – China has cleared itself of all Indian media journalists working in the country, having ordered the last remaining one to leave the country by the end of this month in a series of tit-for-tat moves. China still has one journalist awaiting renewal of his visa in India, the timesofindia.com Jun 12 cited Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning as saying,
In the latest development, China has on Jun 12 asked a Press Trust of India journalist to leave the country by the end of this this month, when his visa expires.
There were four Indian journalists working in China in the beginning of 2023, out of which two were barred from returning in April as their visas were frozen.
And out of the remaining two journalists, one left China on Jun 11 as his visa was not renewed.
China accused India of discrimination and unfair treatment of its journalists working in the country. Its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Jun 12 that Chinese reporters were treated unfairly in India in recent years. He also claimed that India had not approved visas of Chinese journalists since 2020, resulting in a drop from 14 to one Chinese reporter in India.
In response to China’s assertions of “unfair” treatment of Chinese journalists, the Indian government emphasised that Chinese reporters had been functioning in the country without any difficulty, noted the timesofindia.com report. However, the same cannot be said for Indian journalists operating in China, a Bloomberg report said.
The row was stated to have been triggered after China barred Indian journalists from hiring local correspondents or even travelling locally.
Nevertheless, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin has said, as quoted by the scmp.com Jun 12, “China has always treated Indian journalists in China as kind as friends and family members. China has exercised restraint, upheld goodwill, and communicated with the Indian side many times. However, it is regrettable that India has not taken any action to solve the problem.”
Wang’s claim is belied by the fact that Beijing imposed measures on India journalists limiting employment to three individuals at a time who must come from a pool provided by the Chinese authorities, said the Bloomberg report. India, on the other hand, did not impose any such cap on hiring or restrictions on movement.
Nevertheless, calling its move “appropriate action”, Beijing said it took the decision to expel the journalists after India took similar action last month against two Chinese state media journalists in Delhi. This followed New Delhi’s rejection of visa renewal applications from two journalists from Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television (CCTV).
Still, India approved temporary visas for Chinese state media reporters visiting for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation foreign ministers’ meeting in May.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since a deadly clash in 2020 caused by a night attack by Chinese troops stationed in occupied Tibet’s border on Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh.
The two sides have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks since then. While these have led to disengagement in some parts of the disputed border, China’s adamant refusal to budge from other areas they have occupied continues to prevent the normalization of relations between the two countries.