SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 8 December 2021, Wednesday |

Journalists to freely depart and return; Washington hails ‘progress’ for US media working in China

After China’s treatment of US journalists has deteriorated in recent years, U.S. officials said that they made progress in their talks with Chinese officials to improve working conditions and access for journalists in China.
Washington has always denounces the Chinese way of dealing with the US journalists, and took steps against Chinese media operating on US soil, which has been accused of serving as propaganda organs for Beijing.
In 2020, China expelled Americans working for major news organizations such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
On Tuesday, a State Department spokesman said that as a result of the Department’s discussions in recent months, “some initial progress” has been made in “a few areas” that relate to the media environment.
“We welcome this progress but see it simply as initial steps,” the State Department official said, adding that Washington would continue to push for “expanding access and improving conditions for US and other foreign media,” and for broader freedom of the press in general.
The official said China had “committed to issue visas for a group of US reporters, provided they are eligible under all applicable laws and regulations.”
Beijing also promised to “permit US journalists already in the PRC (People’s Republic of China) to freely depart and return, which they had previously been unable to do,” the US official said.
The Chinese government has also announced that US journalist visas will be extended to one year. US officials said Washington would reciprocate on all measures.
According to the State Department, the measures, which were announced on Monday after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual summit, will allow US media correspondents to return to China “to continue their important work.”