Even as sources in China's state news agency Xinhua confirmed that three of its journalists have been told to leave India by the end of this month, it is reliably learnt that replacements can be sent for the three.
Wu Qiang and Lu Tang, who head Xinhua's bureaus in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively, and She Yonggang, a reporter based in Mumbai, have been asked to leave India by July 31.
"They have been asked to leave because of adverse intelligence reports against them, " a source in New Delhi confirmed, while adding that their visas "had expired by January - February this year".
"The reports said that they have been doing work incompatible to their profession. "
But the source said that this should not be seen as an expulsion.
"This cannot be called an expulsion as Xinhua can send replacements for the three who have been asked to leave, " the source said.
"It is true. I don't know why have they (India) done that, " a senior journalist in Xinhua, who was formerly based in India, told IANS in China.
"I would not like to say more as I don't have more details, " the scribe added.
IANS tried to reach Xinhua over phone in New Delhi but there was no response.