India expects ‘no issue’ over Chinese scribes’ visa row

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New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) India on Thursday said that it did not see any issue arising over the denial of visa extension to three Chinese journalists of the Xinhua news agency.

Wu Qiang and Tang Lu, who head Xinhua’s bureaus in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively, and She Yonggang, a reporter based in Mumbai, have been asked to leave India by July 31.

Stating that the matter about the three Chinese journalists was brought to the attention of the state-run Xinhua, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here that the government was also in touch with the Chinese side on this.

“Let me assure you that we expect no issue when their replacements come in due course,”

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While Wu’s visa expired on December 31, 2015, those of Tang and She expired in March this year.

“When the time came for renewing their visas, there were issues relating to their conduct not being in conformity with the provisions of the visa rules,” Swarup said.

“Short-term extensions were given to them in the expectation that they would be replaced. Thereafter, we made it clear to Xinhua that it would not be possible for us to extend the visas of the journalists concerned beyond July 31, 2016.”

According to reports, the three journalists had visited Tibetan refugee shelters in Karnataka under assumed names.

At the same time, Swarup said that with the expansion of bilateral ties between India and China, the resident journalists in both countries have a key role in increasing mutual understanding and appreciation and contributing to stronger people-to-people ties.

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“In this regard, the Ministry of External Affairs of India will continue to facilitate the work of the resident journalists from all countries and their periodic replacement in accordance with the applicable laws,” he added.



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