India has denied China’s accusation that it is using visa restrictions to hinder media contact between the two nations. The Indian government stated that Chinese journalists have been able to pursue their journalistic activities in India without any limitations. This response from India comes two days after China claimed to have taken “appropriate” action in response to India’s treatment of Chinese journalists.
Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson for the Indian foreign ministry, addressed China’s comment, stating, “All foreign journalists, including Chinese journalists, have been able to pursue their journalistic activities in India without facing any limitations or difficulties in reporting or conducting media coverage.” He further explained that Indian journalists face certain difficulties in China, such as not being allowed to hire locals as correspondents or journalists. In contrast, foreign media organizations are free to hire local journalists for their bureaus in India. Bagchi also highlighted the restrictions Indian journalists face in terms of access and local travel.
Bagchi emphasized India’s support and facilitation of foreign journalists working in the country while emphasizing the importance of adhering to normal journalistic behavior and activities, as well as the provisions governing journalist visas. He expressed hope that Chinese authorities would facilitate the continued presence of Indian journalists working and reporting in China. Bagchi concluded by mentioning that both sides remain in contact regarding this issue.
China’s comments were made in an op-ed in its state mouthpiece, The Global Times, citing a Wall Street Journal report that claimed India and China had expelled many journalists from each other’s countries by denying visa renewals. Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, alleged that Chinese journalists had faced unfair and discriminatory treatment in India for an extended period. China claimed that India had reduced the validity period of visas held by Chinese journalists to three or even one month without providing a valid reason. Additionally, China stated that India had refused to review and approve Chinese journalists’ applications for stationing in the country and had yet to renew the visa of the last remaining Chinese journalist in India.
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