The freedom of expression in India is experiencing a decline as the sole remaining Chinese reporter has been expelled from New Delhi. This action was taken after the authorities denied extending their visa earlier this month.
According to Radio Pakistan, the reporter was affiliated with Xinhua, the official news agency of China.
The recent expulsion incident signifies a significant milestone in the history of Sino-Indian relations. It is noteworthy that there is an absence of Chinese journalists in India for the first time since the normalization of diplomatic ties in 1980.
This action also signifies the absence of space for journalists in India under Modi’s leadership, despite it being touted as the largest democracy globally. Journalists are even expelled for expressing opinions that go against the government.
Furthermore, this particular instance serves as a prime example of how the freedom of expression and the voices of journalists can be severely stifled. The Indian authorities are implementing measures to conceal their most brutal acts of terrorism against minority groups.
There is widespread global concern regarding the severe human rights violations against minorities by Indian authorities. It is imperative to strongly condemn the authoritarian stance of the Indian government in this regard.
As per reports from Indian media, the journalist departed from the capital approximately one week ago.
There is an Indian reporter from the Press Trust of India news agency located in Beijing.
On June 12, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the reporter is currently employed and residing in China. However, they indicated they might implement retaliatory actions if India does not extend the visa of the individual referred to as “the last Chinese journalist in the country.”
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, since 2020, the Indian side has declined to assess and authorize applications from Chinese journalists seeking to be stationed in India. Additionally, the duration of visas held by Chinese journalists in India has been restricted to a maximum of three months and sometimes even as short as one month. Wang Wenbin made these remarks during a press briefing. According to his statement, there has been a significant decline in the number of Chinese journalists based in India, dropping from 14 to a mere one.
In April, the Chinese government implemented a visa freeze on two of the four Indian correspondents. This action was taken in response to India’s expulsion of a Chinese journalist in March. Consequently, only two Chinese reporters remain in India.
Following the expulsion of a reporter in India, another reporter was expelled the following month. In response, Beijing also ousted a third Indian reporter, resulting in the presence of only one remaining reporter in each country.
No comment was provided by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding the case.
In a recent statement, Arindam Bagchi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, affirmed that foreign journalists, including those from China, have been able to engage in journalistic activities within India without encountering any restrictions or obstacles in their reporting or media coverage.
Bagchi stated that there is ongoing communication between the two parties regarding this matter.