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Chinese journos denied visa extension were under ‘adverse attention’: Sources

According to sources, the three Chinese journalists whose visa extension in India were refused, were under the ‘adverse attention’ of the security agencies.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2016 22:53 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
The national flags of India and China at Vijay Chowk, New Delhi. The visa extension request of three Chinese journalists was rejected by the Indian government. (HT File Photo)

The three Chinese journalists who were refused visa extension in India were under the “adverse attention” of security agencies, informed sources have told Hindustan Times.

However, neither the external affairs ministry nor any other wing of the government came out with a formal statement as to why the scribes, who worked for China’s official news agency Xinhua, were ordered to leave India by July 31.

Read | India expels three Chinese state media journalists amid strained bilateral ties

These sources, however, insisted this development cannot be construed as affecting the news agency’s India operations in anyway.

“Xinhua can replace them with other journalists. This development doesn’t in any way mean Xinhua will be closed down in India or something to that effect,” they pointed out.

Two among those who received the marching orders are Xinhua’s bureau chiefs in New Delhi and Mumbai – Wu Qiang and Tang Lu. The third is a reporter based in Mumbai, She Yonggang.

The adverse attention refers to security agencies finding the journalists going beyond the brief of their journalistic duties. They insisted the decision was taken after due consideration and the scribes were told well ahead about this as “their visas expired sometime back”.

According to these sources, the three were informed of their having to leave the country well in advance.

A “clear indication” was given to them two months ago, they insisted.

Non-renewal of visas is a common practice followed by governments to expel foreign journalists whose writing is seen as critical of official policy.

In December, China expelled a French journalist for writing a piece questioning the government’s handling of the situation in the restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), describing the reporting as fabricated.

The mode of expulsion was similar: The journalist’s visa wasn’t renewed.

At present, five Indian journalists work out of Beijing. Additionally, a number of Indians work for China’s English state media like China Central Television, China Daily and China Radio International.

Two more New Delhi-based Indian journalists are currently on a fellowship to China at the invitation of the communist government.

First Published: Jul 23, 2016 22:14 IST