Published On: Mon, Jul 25th, 2016

India’s expulsion of reporters is petty act

The Indian government has refused to extend the visas of three Chinese journalists from the Xinhua News Agency, a move that will force them to leave the country. Among the three, one is Wu Qiang, Xinhua bureau chief in Delhi; another is Tang Lu, chief correspondent at the Mumbai bureau. India’s act was described as an expulsion by some foreign media.

No official reason was given for the rejection of the visa renewals. Some Indian media claimed that the three journalists are suspected of impersonating other people to access several restricted departments in Delhi and Mumbai with fake names. There were also reports attributing it to the journalists’ meeting with exiled Tibetan activists. Moreover, speculation is swirling that India is taking revenge against China for the latter’s opposition to India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Lü Pengfei, former India-based special correspondent with the Global Times, said there is absolutely no need for Chinese journalists in India to conduct interviews under fake names and it is completely normal for reporters to request interviews with the Dalai Lama group.

If New Delhi is really taking revenge due to the NSG membership issue, there will be serious consequences.

In any case, it’s not a good thing that India has turned down Chinese reporters’ applications for new visas. The act has sent negative messages and media communications between China and India will inevitably be negatively impacted. India has a suspicious mind. No matter whether Chinese reporters apply for a long-term or a temporary journalist visa, they will come across many troubles. Complaints about difficulties of acquiring an Indian visa have also been heard from other Chinese who deal with India. In contrast, it’s much easier for Indians to get a Chinese visa.

The China-India bilateral relationship now is on a sound track, with a by and large tranquil border and steadily booming trade. The two in general are able to maintain neutrality with regard to international affairs that are related to the other side. But problems emerge when it comes to issues that the two are at odds. By opposing India’s NSG membership, China is not being disrespectful to India because it obeys the rule that all NSG members are required to be signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Indian society in recent years has witnessed soaring nationalism. Crowned by Western public opinion as the world’s biggest democracy, the Indians have a strong sense of pride. China should stick to a friendly strategy toward India, as we believe bilateral friendship is in the interests of India as well. On the visa issue this time, we should take actions to display our reaction. We at least should make a few Indians feel Chinese visas are also not easy to get.

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