The last remaining Chinese reporter in India has been effectively expelled after having been denied a visa extension earlier this month.
The reporter, from China’s official Xinhua news agency, left New Delhi around one week ago, according to people familiar with the development.
The expulsion marks the first instance of there being no Chinese journalists in India since the normalisation of relations in the 1980s.
There is currently one Indian reporter from the Press Trust of India news agency who remains in Beijing.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on June 12 said the reporter was “still working and living normally in China” but suggested that it may take countermeasures if India did not extend the visa of “the last Chinese journalist in the country”.
“Since 2020, the Indian side has refused to review and approve Chinese journalists’ applications for stationing in India and limited the period of validity of visas held by Chinese journalists in India to only three months or even one month,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a press briefing. “As a result, the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India has plummeted from 14 to just one,” he said then.
In April, China froze the visas of two of the four Indian correspondents, in what it described as countermeasures after India in March asked a Chinese journalist to leave, leaving only two Chinese reporters in the country.
After India, the following month expelled another reporter, Beijing then asked a third Indian reporter to leave, leaving one remaining reporter in each country.
The last Chinese journalist was in early June refused a visa extension and left India around one week ago, according to people familiar with the development. At the time of writing, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) did not comment on the case.
Earlier this month, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said “all foreign journalists, including Chinese journalists, have been pursuing journalistic activities in India without any limitations or difficulties in reporting or doing media coverage”.
Mr. Bagchi added that “the two sides continue to remain in touch regarding this issue”.