By Yungdung Tsomo
DHARAMSALA 14 June: Amidst intensifying media row between the two Asian giants, China has asked the last remaining Indian journalist to leave the country at the end of June.
The development marks a new low in the already strained relationship between India and China, with both sides wiping out journalists from each other’s country media reports said.
With the expulsion of the Press Trust of India reporter, India will now have no journalists reporting from China, the world’s second-largest economy.
India has four journalists based in China at the start of 2023. In April, two journalists from Prasar Bharati and The Hindu newspaper were denied entry to China with their Visa frozen while another journalist from The Hindustan Times left China last week as per Bloomberg report.
The Sino-Indian relationship nose-dived following a military clash in the Galwan Valley in 2020. This confrontation resulted in the loss of lives from both Indian and Chinese troops, exacerbating tensions.
Beijing has defended the move as a reciprocal act stating that they made the decision to expel the last Indian journalist from the country after New Delhi had denied Visa renewal to two Chinese journalists from Xinhua News Agency and Central Television.
According to Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning, there is still a Chinese journalist left in India who is passionately waiting for a visa renewal.
Additionally, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin has also alleged on Monday that “Chinese journalists in India have been accorded unfair and discriminatory arrangements.”
Wang has further expressed his hope that “India will continue to issue visas for Chinese Journalists and remove the unreasonable restriction and create favourable conditions for media exchange.”
The spokesperson further rued that India had not issued new visas to Chinese journalists since 2020 which he said led to a declining number of Journalists from 14 to one correspondence in India.
However, India’s foreign ministry spokesperson has maintained that there is no limitation to journalists in India, including Chinese nationals.
He has further alleged that Indian Journalists however face difficulties while reporting from China in certain ways such as “not permitted to hire locals as correspondence or journalists”
“Indian Journalists also face several restrictions while getting access and travelling locally,” he added.
China had a similar history of media disputes with the US and Australia.