Beijing : India expelled 3 senior Chinese journalists employed at ‘Xinhua News Agency,’ by refusing to renew their work visas. The journalists have been ordered to leave the country by 31st July.
No official reason was given for the Indian government’s decision, but sources said the three were indulging in activities beyond their journalistic brief. The dismissal of the journalists is meant to convey a strong message to China against its anti –Indian activities.
‘Wu Qiang’ and ‘Lu Tang’ is the Chief Correspondent of the Xinhua bureau in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively. ‘She Yonggang’ was working as a reporter for the Mumbai bureau. On July 14, all three were informed that they had to leave India by July 31 as their visas will not be renewed. Significantly, Wu has been staying in India on extended visa for 6 years. His two colleagues were also on visa extensions.
The media in China is kept under a tight leash. Xinhua is the most influential news agency in China and the main mouthpiece of the Government. Xinhua works directly under the jurisdiction of the State Council, or the Chinese Cabinet, headed by Premier Li Keqiang.
This is probably the first time that India has asked Chinese journalists to leave the country in such manner. The step was prompted by adverse reports from intelligence agencies about the three journalists who were suspected of impersonating other people and visiting restricted facilities under assumed names. The sources from the Ministry of Home Affairs also revealed that the journalists had travelled to Bengaluru for an event where they met Tibetan agitators.
The terrorist attack on the Pathankot air base in January was master minded by ‘Masood Azhar,’ Chief of Jaish–e–Mohammed. India had demanded ban on him from UN Security Council but China raised objections and blocked this bid by India. Similarly China managed to put the ‘UN Security Council’ sanctions against the terrorists ‘Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’ and ‘Saeed Salahuddin,’ on technical hold as well.
The decision to not renew the visas of Chinese journalists comes in the middle of a blow-up between the two nations over Beijing’s fastidiousness in denying India membership of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). India, a non-NPT signatory, has singled out China for creating “procedural hurdles” to block its membership.
Denial of visa to journalists may prove a primary step towards back answering China in its own terms, and may evoke some reaction in return. Analysts said the possibility of China carrying out tit-for-tat expulsions of Indian-journalists could not be ruled out.
— Samir Dattopadhye (@samirsinh189) July 25, 2016