China suspends visas of two Indian journalists?
Beijing: Apparently in retaliation to India suspending the Xinhua reporter’s visa, China is understood to have suspended the visas for two Indian journalists Anshuman Mishra of Prasar Bharati and Ananth Krishnan of The Hindu.
Responding to a query in this regard here today, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said, “As far as I know, the Indian journalists’ visa status has not been changed. What I can share with you is that we have always treated China-based Indian journalists like friends and family and become friends with them.”
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She though added: “The current situation is not what we would like to see. Putting themselves in the Chinese journalists’ shoes, I’m sure the Indian journalists can fully relate to what their Chinese colleagues are going through,” Ning said. She alleged that Chinese journalists have suffered unfair and discriminatory treatment in India for a long time.
Beijing said it hoped the Indian side could show goodwill, immediately correct the “wrong practice”, and provide convenience for the normal work and life of journalists based in the two countries. Ning claimed that 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. What is worse, in December 2021, a CGTN journalist stationed in India was asked by the Indian side, with no explanation till now, to leave the country within ten days when his visa was still valid for two months and his term would not end in half a year. A few days ago, the Indian side asked a journalist of the Xinhua News Agency to leave the country by March 31, citing the reason that he had been in the country for six years,” she said.
Ning further claimed it treats Indian journalists in China with goodwill and has actively provided assistance and facilitation for their life and work in China. Indian journalists stationed in China all hold residence permits valid for one year, during which they can enter and exit from China multiple times and their lawful rights of interview and reporting are “fully protected”.
“Journalists from the PTI and the Hindustan Times have been stationed in China for over ten years, and you may learn the relevant facts from them,” she told journalists at the Chinese foreign ministry’s regular press conference here.
She added: “Over the years, the Chinese side has actively communicated with the Indian side with restraint and goodwill. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in India have expressed concerns to the Indian side on many occasions on the issue of Chinese journalists’ visas. Regrettably, however, the Indian side ignored this and even went further down the wrong path. Considering this, the Chinese side has no choice but to take appropriate counter-measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media organizations. Indian journalists are welcome to work in China. If the Indian side takes positive measures to correct their mistakes, China stands ready to head toward the same direction and continue to provide facilitation for Indian journalists.”
– global bihari bureau