China, US agree to ease restrictions on journalists

China, US agree to ease restrictions on journalists
US President Joe Biden and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping met in one-on-one talks for only the second time since Mr Biden assumed the presidency in 2020. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: China and the US have agreed to ease travel and visa restrictions on each others’ journalists.

The agreement comes after highly-anticipated talks between US President Joe Biden and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping.

The move will allow journalists to depart and enter from both countries more freely.

China Daily, the state media of China, said the agreement was the result of “more than a year of difficult negotiations”.

Under this, both the US and Chinese governments will increase the validity of journalist visas from three months to one year, provided they are eligible under all applicable laws and regulations.

Beijing and Washington have also pledged to allow journalists to freely depart and return, which they had previously been unable to do.

The US state department spokesperson said they welcomed the development as “progress” but saw them simply as “initial steps”.

They added that they would “continue to work toward expanding access and improving conditions for US and other foreign media”.

The US decided in February last year to classify Chinese state media organisations as “foreign missions”, which allowed for tighter control to be exercised over them.

Five outlets including China Global Television Network and Xinhua news agency were told they would need to seek approval to buy any property, and would be required to submit lists of all employees on staff, in a move China lambasted as “politically motivated oppression”.

A month later, China expelled 13 journalists from the US, including journalists from major publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

It is unclear if journalists who have been previously expelled will be allowed to return to China under the new agreement.

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