Last Update: June 01, 2023, 00:47 AM IST
China on Wednesday accused India of “unfair and discriminatory treatment” of Chinese journalists and threatened “appropriate retaliation” against the country.
The allegation comes in the wake of a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which said that China and India have “effectively locked out” a large number of each other’s journalists by recently denying them visa renewals. .
New Delhi has this month refused to renew visas for the only two remaining Chinese state media journalists in the country, the WSJ reports.
The report said that four journalists of the Indian media were posted in China. However, according to a Chinese official, at least two of them have not been granted visas to re-enter the country.
Additionally, this month a third journalist was informed that her accreditation had been revoked.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said at a press conference, “Chinese journalists have long faced unfair and discriminatory treatment in India. In 2017, the Indian side reduced the validity period of Chinese journalists’ visas in India to three months or one month without any valid reason.”
“Since 2020, the Indian side has refused to review and approve applications for Chinese journalists to be posted to India. As a result, the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India has dropped from 14 in normal times to just one.”
The Chinese spokesperson claimed that the Indian side has still not renewed the visa of the last Chinese journalist in the country.
“The number of Chinese journalists stationed in India is going to be zero. In view of this, the Chinese side has no choice but to take appropriate retaliatory measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media organizations.”
However, the Chinese spokesperson said that China is still willing to maintain contact with India.
Earlier in April, a media report said that China has frozen the visas of two Indian journalists. In response, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that India hoped that the Chinese would facilitate the continued presence of Indian journalists in Beijing.
During a press conference, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that there are Chinese journalists with valid Indian visas who are engaged in press activities.
“We don’t see any difficulty in reporting” (by Chinese journalists), he said.
India and China are locked in a protracted border standoff in eastern Ladakh for three years. Bilateral ties came under severe strain in June 2020 following a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.
India, as the current chair of the G20, has arranged a series of nationwide meetings to prepare for the upcoming summit in New Delhi this September. In the last two months, Beijing has skipped the G20 meetings held in Ladakh and Kashmir.
(With inputs from Shalinder Vangu)