By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, July 25: The Indian Government refused to extend visa for three Chinese journalists for allegedly indulging in activities beyond their official work and asked them to leave the country this month.
The three journalist, all belonging to state-run Xinhua news agency – Delhi-based Bureau Chief Wu Qiang, Mumbai based bureau chief, Tang Lu and reporter Ma Qiang were being watched by security agencies for several months for ‘activities beyond their official work’.
The journalists were asked to leave the country by July 31 as India refused their visa extension, India’s major online news reports quoted an official as saying on Sunday.
New Delhi was forced to take the measure as the Chinese journalists were impersonating people to gain access to sensitive and restricted areas thereby causing a security threat to India.
“The three journalists travelled to Bengaluru recently and met exiled Tibetan activists without informing the government,” dnaindia.com quoted a source from the Ministry of Home Affairs as saying in its report on July 25.
“The three journalists had overstayed their visa and subsequently they had received several visa extensions. So we asked them to go back as it is no longer possible to give them visa extensions,” the report adds.
Outraged by the expulsion, China has accused India of taking revenge for their objection of India’s NSG membership and warned India with dire consequences.
Beijing should respond to the expulsion with an eye for an eye towards India, Global Times, the Chinese state-run news outlet wrote on Monday.
However, as revealed by government sources, these Chinese journalists were issued short visa extensions as they wanted to stay on till their successors are here.
But, their successors didn’t come even after months, as such they were given the cut-off date.
“India is not ‘expelling’ the journalists as Xinhua was not being asked to pack up. Xinhua is welcome to post new correspondents in Delhi,” dnaindia.com quoted an anonymous official as saying in its report.