Beijing [China], June 1 (ANI): Chinese journalists have faced "unfair and discriminatory treatment in India" but in spite of this China is ready to maintain communication with India under the principles of "mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed on Wednesday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning made the remarks at a press conference on Wednesday. Her statement came in response to a question about a report published in The Wall Street Journal with the headline, "China, India kick out nearly all of each other's journalists as rivalry escalates".
Alleging mistreatment of Chinese journalists in India, Mao Ning alleged that in 2017, India shortened the period of validity of visas held by Chinese journalists in the country.
"Chinese journalists have suffered unfair and discriminatory treatment in India for a long time. In 2017, the Indian side shortened the period of validity of visas held by Chinese journalists in India to three months or even one month without any valid reason," Mao Ning was quoted as saying in an official statement released by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
She that since 2020 India has refused to review and approve Chinese journalists' applications for stationing in India.
"As a result, the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India has plummeted from 14 at the normal time to just one. As we speak, the Indian side still has not renewed the visa of the last Chinese journalist in the country," she claimed.
Mao Ning claimed further that the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India is about to drop to zero, adding that it will leave the Chinese side with no choice but to take appropriate counter-measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media groups.
She added, however, that "China is willing to maintain communication with India under the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit".
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said further that her country has been actively providing assistance and convenience to Indian journalists working there.
"We treat them like friends and family. I believe many of you here know that some Indian journalists have been working and living in China for more than 10 years. The current situation is not what we want to see," she added. (ANI)