India denies visa extensions, orders 3 Xinhua journalists to leave by end of July

By Deng Xiaoci Source:Global Times Published: 2016/7/25 1:13:01

India has refused to extend the visas of three Xinhua New Agency journalists and told them to leave the country by the end of the month, following concerns from Indian intelligence agencies.

Experts interviewed by the Global Times said it shows a lack of trust in the Chinese government and reflects poorly on Sino-Indian relations.

The three journalists are Xinhua New Delhi bureau head Wu Qiang, Mumbai bureau chief Tang Lu, and She Yonggang, a reporter based in Mumbai, the Times of India reported Sunday.

The report said Wu has been working in India for six years, and the other two had also been given extended visas.

The three were suspected of impersonating other people and visiting unauthorized areas with assumed names, according to intelligence reports. 

According to The Hindu newspaper, the three journalists had recently traveled to Bangalore and met exiled Tibetan activists, which became an issue with the government. Though the "Tibetan government-in-exile" is located in the northern town of Dharmsala, thousands of Tibetans live in Karnataka.

However, Lü Pengfei, a former People's Daily reporter in India, told the Global Times he had visited Dhramsala with two of his colleagues in 2014 using their true identities. "Besides, Bangalore is not a restricted area."

"I have frequently met exiled Tibetan activists through intermediaries, and even spoke to the Dalai Lama. I should have been expelled several times if that was the reason the Indian government gave. It was very likely an act of revenge against China for denying India membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)," Lü said.

  China has always supported a full discussion within the NSG on the membership issue and a decision based on the consensus of all sides through consultation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a previous press conference.

The incident could indicate an increasing mistrust between the two countries. India thinks China does not pay it enough respect as a regional or global power, Zhang Jiadong, a professor with the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.

However, we should have faith as the two sides possess the possibility of more cooperation and common interests, Zhang added.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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