Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday reiterated its strong opposition to the U.S. decision to restrict visas for Chinese journalists to 90 days, saying it's discriminative and severely disrupts Chinese media's normal reporting activities in the U.S.
Currently there are about 500 foreign reporters in China and 98 percent of them have press cards and residence permits with one-year validity. Only a very small number, about two percent of the foreign reporters' press cards or residence permits are valid for less than one year, said spokesperson Zhao Lijian.
He said China has always offered assistance to foreign reporters in China with their life and work.
Residence permit extension for foreign journalists is usually completed within 10 working days, and U.S. journalists in China can have multiple entries to China with their valid documents and they do not have to apply for a new visa. Last year, there were more than 700 visits to China by U.S. reporters in China, Zhao said.
The U.S., with its Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, constantly upgraded political suppression and unreasonably restricted Chinese media. The United States has long adopted a discriminatory policy for the visas of Chinese journalists. It grants multiple-entry visas to journalists from other countries, but only allows Chinese journalists to enter the United States once. As a result, Chinese journalists often cannot return to the United States if they go home to visit families, said Zhao.
"China's basic national policy of opening will not change. We will always welcome media and reporters from all countries to engage in reporting work in China according to law and regulations, and will continue to provide convenience and assistance. What we object to is ideological prejudice against China, the use of press freedom to falsify fake news, and behaviors that violate the professional ethics of journalism," Zhao stressed.
(Cover via Chinese Foreign Ministry)