Beijing imposes new restrictions on US journalists in latest tit-for-tat move

Published (HKT): 2020.09.07 20:12

China has withheld issuing new press credentials for foreign journalists working for U.S. media outlets in an apparent retaliatory move after Washington’s recent treatment of Chinese journalists based in the United States.

Several journalists working for U.S. news organizations in China have received a letter confirming their applications to renew press credentials were being processed in the past week, instead of being issued a new press card, according to CNN.

The affected journalists included CNN correspondent David Culver and Wall Street Journal senior correspondent Jeremy Page, the two news organizations reported.

The journalists were given new Chinese visas valid for only two months, as opposed to the usual one year period. The letters allowed them to carry expired press cards as proof of their identity as journalists, and continue to work in China for the time being.

“The relevant measures are a response to the measures taken by the U.S. against Chinese journalists,” China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a press briefing on Monday.

If Chinese journalists in the U.S. were treated fairly by Washington, Beijing would be glad to continue its cooperation with the U.S. journalists in China, another foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying wrote on Twitter on Monday.

In May, U.S. authorities shortened the duration of work visas for Chinese journalists to a maximum of 90 days with the possibility for renewal. The Chinese journalists will have to leave the U.S. by November if no renewal is granted.

Hua said in her tweets that the U.S. had delayed or denied visas for 30 Chinese journalists and expelled 60 since 2018.

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