Beijing, 5 May (Zhongxin Net) -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning presided over a regular news conference on 31 May.

A reporter asked: Both China and India are expelling each other's journalists by refusing to renew their visas.

Mao Ning: What I can tell you is that for a long time, Chinese journalists have been subjected to unfair and discriminatory treatment in India.

In 2017, India shortened the validity of visas for Chinese journalists in India to three months or even one month for no reason. Since 2020, the Indian side has refused to approve the application of Chinese journalists to India. What's more, in December 2021, a reporter of China Central Radio and Television Station in India was asked by the Indian side to leave the country within 12 days when his visa was valid for two months and his term was still half a year, and the Indian side has not explained the reason so far. Not long ago, the Indian side refused to extend the visa of the only Indian correspondent of the main station, forcing him to leave the country. At present, the visa of the last Chinese journalist based in India has also expired.

In the face of this long-term unreasonable suppression by the Indian side, China has no choice but to take appropriate countermeasures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese media.

China is still willing to maintain communication with the Indian side on the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and hopes that the Indian side can meet China halfway, seriously respond to our legitimate concerns, take practical actions as soon as possible, and create favorable conditions for the resumption of normal media exchanges between the two countries.

A reporter asked: The spokesman said that China must take appropriate countermeasures against India's actions, does this mean that China has indeed refused to renew visas for Indian journalists?

Mao Ning: What I can tell you is that we have been actively assisting and facilitating Indian journalists to work and live in China. Indian journalists are colleagues and friends of all the journalists here, and I believe many of you know that some Indian journalists have been working and living in China for more than ten years, and we are willing to continue to do so. But it depends on whether the Indian side can meet the Chinese side halfway and provide the same convenience and assistance to Chinese journalists in India. (End)