India and China spar over visas for their journalists

Published April 7, 2023
A Chinese official adjusts a Chinese flag before the start of a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2018. — Reuters
A Chinese official adjusts a Chinese flag before the start of a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, India, December 21, 2018. — Reuters

NEW DELHI: India and China broke into fresh diplomatic sparring on Thurs­day, accusing each other of creating visa hassles for their journalists posted in New Delhi and Beijing.

The exchange came days after India objected to China renaming or “standardising” names of 11 locations in the eastern state of Arunchal Pradesh, which China calls southern Tibet and claims as its territory.

Indian newspapers repor­t­ed this week that two Indian journalists posted in Beijing were barred from returning to their jobs in the Chinese capital from India.

Correspondents for The Hindu newspaper and state broadcaster Prasar Bharati were told on Tuesday that their visas have been frozen, an Indian source familiar with the issue said.

Asked about the visa suspensions, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Thursday that Chinese journalists have received unfair and discriminatory treatment in India for a long time, and a Xinhua journalist was recently asked to leave India by March 31.

“China has always treated Indian journalists well,” Mao said. Chinese authorities have been in touch with the Indian government, which did not respond “nor correct the mistake”, she said.

“China therefore has to take corresponding counter measures to safeguard our legitimate interests. China welcomes Indian journalists to work in China. If India can correct its mistakes, China is willing to continue to facilitate Indian journalists in China,” Mao added.

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2023

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