China Orders Last Indian Journalist Leave This Month

Chinese officials have ordered the Press Trust of India correspondent to leave the country this month


As tensions rise between the two Asian economic superpowers, Beijing and New Delhi have expelled one other’s journalists in a tit-for-tat battle, forcing the last Indian journalist in China to depart.

According to a source acquainted with the situation, Chinese officials have ordered the Press Trust of India correspondent to leave the country this month. With his departure, India’s media presence in the world’s second-largest economy would disappear at a time when relations are already tense.

Four Indian correspondents were stationed in China early this year for various media outfits. The Hindustan Times journalist departed China over the weekend, while in April, China refused to extend the visas of two journalists from the newspapers The Hindu and Prasar Bharati.

Despite repeated requests for comment, neither the Chinese foreign ministry nor the Ministry of External Affairs has provided a response.

Mao Ning, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, claimed last month that one Chinese journalist was still in India without a valid visa. The visa renewal petitions of two journalists from the Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television were denied by New Delhi earlier.

Earlier this month, the Indian authorities said that Chinese journalists had been free to work in the nation, but the opposite was true for Indian reporters in China. The two nations were communicating about the matter, it said.

According to Indian authorities acquainted with the subject who requested anonymity owing to the delicacy of the situation, the visa dispute began a few months ago when Indian journalists hired helpers in China to help with reporting. They said that Beijing had imposed regulations restricting employment to a maximum of three people at any one time, all of whom must be drawn from a pool supplied by the Chinese government. Employment quotas are not in place in India.

Tensions between Beijing and New Delhi have persisted since a fatal skirmish on the Himalayan border in 2020. Since then, China has tried to decouple the border dispute from the rest of the relationship, focusing instead on trade and economic ties. However, India has insisted that the two countries’ relationships cannot return to normal until the disagreement over the boundary is settled.

This year, India is hosting the Group of Twenty and the Shanghai Cooperation Dialogue, both of which were created by the Chinese. As part of China’s efforts to increase its diplomatic and political influence abroad, Xi will likely attend the G-20 leaders conference in September.

There has been an ongoing debate about visas for journalists between China and the United States for years. Beijing revoked press credentials for reporters at US media businesses after the Trump administration classified a small number of Chinese media companies as “foreign missions” and imposed limitations on the number of Chinese journalists in the country.

Diplomatic tensions between Australia and China escalated in 2020, prompting the departure of two Australian journalists working in China. Australian officials spent five days trying to negotiate the men’s release from consular custody after they were first forbidden to leave the country. In the same year, Beijing claimed that Australian authorities had broken into the houses of Chinese state media employees and confiscated their belongings.