A state-run daily of China has warned India of “serious consequences” over the refusal to extend visas to three Chinese journalists.
“Speculation is swirling that India is taking revenge against China for the latter’s opposition to India joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). If New Delhi is really taking revenge due to the NSG membership issue, there will be serious consequences,” the editorial in the Global Times said.
An editorial in the Global Times, which is run by the ruling Communist Party of China, calls India’s decision “petty”.
Three Chinese journalists from the state-run Xinhua news agency have been denied permission to stay on in India. According to sources, Delhi-based Bureau Chief Wu Qiang and Mumbai-based reporters Tang Lu and Ma Qiang were being watched by security agencies for several months now for “activities beyond their official work”.
They will have to return by July 31. All three had asked for an extension of their stay by a few months till their successors arrive.
Sources say China is free to send other journalists to India in their place and insist the decision is not linked to China’s opposition to India joining the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG.
“No official reason was given for the rejection of the visa renewals. Some Indian media claimed that the three journalists are suspected of impersonating other people to access several restricted departments in Delhi and Mumbai with fake names. There were also reports attributing it to the journalists’ meeting with exiled Tibetan activists.”
In June, India failed to enter the NSG. China led the opposition to the US campaign of support for Delhi. Any country that has not signed the non-proliferation treaty or NPT, which is the main global arms control pact, cannot join the NSG, said Beijing.
India already enjoys most of the benefits of membership under a 2008 exemption to NSG rules granted to support its nuclear cooperation deal with the US.