Visas for journos: China says its journalists suffered ‘unfair treatment in India for a long time’

A foreign ministry spokesperson claimed China took ‘appropriate countermeasures’ to ‘safeguard interests’.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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After Wall Street Journal reported on India and China denying visa renewals to each other’s journalists, the Chinese foreign ministry said Chinese journalists had “suffered unfair and discriminatory treatment in India for a long time”.

The comments were made by ministry spokesperson Mao Ning at a press conference on May 31.

The WSJ report on May 30 alleged the two countries were “virtually wiping out media access” and that India last month denied visa renewals to the “last two remaining Chinese state media journalists in the country”. This was after China in April informed two Indian journalists that their visas had been “frozen”.

During the press conference, a journalist with AFP asked Mao Ning if she could confirm that India and China had “effectively kicked out a large number of each other’s journalists”.

The spokesperson said, “In 2017, the Indian side shortened the period of validity of visas held by Chinese journalists in India to three months or even one month without any valid reason. Since 2020, the Indian side has refused to review and approve Chinese journalists’ applications for stationing in India. As a result, the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India has plummeted from 14 at the normal time to just one.”

Considering this, Mao Ning said China “has no choice but to take appropriate countermeasures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media organisations”. She added that China wanted to create “favourable conditions” between the two countries.

When the AFP journalist asked whether this meant that China had indeed refused to renew visas for Indian journalists, she said, “We have been actively providing assistance and convenience to Indian journalists working and living in China. We treat them like friends and family...We hope that the Indian side will immediately correct its wrongdoing and provide facilitation to the normal work and life of journalists from both countries.”

India’s tension with China was exacerbated by clashes along the border. Watch this episode of Newsance on what happened and why – according to some news channels – it’s all Nehru’s fault.

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