China urged India to find a middle ground in an ongoing disagreement concerning journalists stationed in each other’s countries. The plea comes after allegations from China that its journalists in India have been treated unjustly, and an Indian journalist was requested to depart China.
The current media staff dispute is the most recent display of tension between the two Asian giants. Their relationship worsened in mid-2020 following a violent clash between their respective troops along the contentious Himalayan border, leading to 24 casualties.
Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, addressed the issue in a Monday briefing. He claimed that Chinese journalists in India had faced “unfair and discriminatory arrangements” in recent years.
“We hope that India will continue to issue visas for Chinese journalists, eliminate unreasonable restrictions, and create favorable conditions for media exchanges,” Wang stated.
In retaliation to India’s purported action against the two remaining Chinese state media journalists earlier this month, China has refused to extend the visas of the last two Indian journalists based in the country.
Sources revealed that one of these Indian journalists, a reporter for the Hindustan Times, departed China on Sunday following the expiration of his visa. The final Indian journalist in China, from the Press Trust of India news agency, is expected to leave the country later this month as his visa ends.
Earlier this year, India had four journalists stationed in China. However, two of them were prohibited from re-entering the country in April after being informed that their visas were frozen. As a result, India currently has no media representation in the world’s second-largest economy.
Wang also mentioned that India hasn’t approved new visas for Chinese journalists since 2020, causing the number of Chinese correspondents in the country to fall from 14 to just one.