China asks last Indian journalist to leave country

Indian PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. [File Photo]

The last Indian journalist working in China has been asked to leave the country by the end of this month as Beijing accused India of “discrimination” and “unfair treatment” of its journalists working in the country.

A person with knowledge of the situation told Bloomerg that the Chinese government has ordered the Press Trust of India reporter to leave the country this month.

At a time when relations are deteriorating, his departure will erase India’s media presence from the second-largest economy in the world.

Four reporters from Indian media firms were based in China early this year.

While two journalists from The Hindu newspaper and Prasar Bharati public broadcaster were turned down for visa extensions in China in April, the Hindustan Times reporter left over the weekend.

Last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said there was one Chinese journalist left in India, who was still awaiting renewal of their visa.

Earlier, New Delhi rejected visa renewal applications from two journalists from Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television.

The Indian government said earlier this month that Chinese reporters had been operating in the country without any difficulty, but this was not the case for Indian journalists in China.

Both countries were in touch over the issue, it added, as per Bloombeg.

The visa spat started a few months ago over Indian journalists hiring assistants in China to help with reporting, the report said quoting Indian officials familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the situation.

Beijing imposed measures limiting employment to three individuals at a time who must come from a pool provided by the Chinese authorities, they said. India doesn’t have a cap on hiring.

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