Taking offence at India’s refusal to extend visas to three Chinese journalists, a state-run daily on Monday warned of “serious consequences” if the matter was a fallout of Beijing’s refusal to back New Delhi’s NSG membership bid.
“No official reason was given for the rejection of the visa renewals. Some Indian media claimed that the three journalists are suspected of impersonating other people to access several restricted departments in Delhi and Mumbai with fake names. There were also reports attributing it to the journalists’ meeting with exiled Tibetan activists,” the editorial said.
Saying that India has a suspicious mind, the daily said that Chinese reporters in India are targeted for apply for a long-term or a temporary journalist visa.
“On the visa issue this time, we should take action to display our reaction. We at least should make a few Indians feel Chinese visas are also not easy to get. The act has sent negative messages and media communications between China and India will inevitably be negatively impacted,” the editorial said.
The visas of the three journalists, Delhi-based Bureau Chief Wu Qiang and two reporters in Mumbai Tang Lu and Ma Qiang , are expiring at the end of this month. All the three had sought extension of their stay by a few months till their successors arrive.
However, the Chinese embassy sources said the Indian government has turned down the request. The embassy has taken up the matter with the External Affairs Ministry.
The three journalists have been ordered to leave India by July 31. Journalists Wu Qiang and Lu Tang head Xinhua’s bureau in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively.
Lu Tang has an India connect as she studied in universities at New Delhi and Gujarat. She graduated in International Relations from New Delhi’s Jawahar Lal Nehru University.
No official reason was given for the Indian government’s decision, but sources said the three had come under the “adverse attention of security agencies” for allegedly indulging in activities beyond their journalistic brief.
However, the editorial also pitched for maintaining friendly Sino-India ties.