Indian journalists face 'certain difficulties’ in China, says New Delhi

Indian journalists face 'certain difficulties’ in China, says New Delhi

Statement comes after China’s warning of Chinese journalists ‘dropping to zero’ in India

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - Indian journalists in China have been operating with “certain difficulties” and face several restrictions, said the Indian Foreign Ministry on Friday.

The statement comes after China this week said the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India is about to “drop to zero,” as New Delhi is yet to renew the visa of the last Chinese journalist in the country.

All foreign media representatives, including Chinese journalists, have been pursuing journalistic activities in India without any “limitations” or “difficulties” in reporting, and the Indian journalists in China have been operating with “certain difficulties,” said Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi during the weekly press briefing.

“Such as not being permitted to hire locals as correspondents or journalists. As you know, foreign media in India here can and do freely hire local journalists to work for their bureaus in India,” he said. “We are also aware that Indian journalists in China face several restrictions while getting access and traveling locally within China.”

The ministry said that both countries remain in contact regarding the issue.

“There should be no deviation from normal journalistic behavior and activities or from the provisions governing visas that are issued to journalists.” the spokesman said, adding that the Indian side “supports and facilitates foreign journalists.”

“We would hope that the Chinese authorities facilitate the continued presence of Indian journalists in working and reporting from China,” he said.

In a press briefing earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Chinese journalists had suffered unfair and discriminatory treatment in India for a long time.

She added that since 2020, New Delhi has yet to review and approve the visa applications of Chinese journalists stationed in India, which are “dropping to zero.”

Her remarks follow heightened tensions in recent months between the two major Asian countries.

In an apparent tit-for-tat move in April, Beijing “froze” the visas of two Indian journalists based in Beijing, telling them not to return to China.

The latest development comes amid disagreements between New Delhi and Beijing over their territorial claims in the Indian northeastern province of Arunachal Pradesh, which China refers to as the southern part of the Tibetan autonomous region.

Since May 2020, the two countries have been locked in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto border between China and India in the Ladakh area of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region.

In June 2020, at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a border clash.

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