Suppression on Chinese journalists reflects US' Cold War mentality and ideological bias: Chinese FM

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/4 0:40:24

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying 

The political persecution and suppression on Chinese journalists in the US reflects the Cold War mentality and ideological bias of the US, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in response to the discriminatory treatment to Chinese journalists by the US.

In May, the US cut the length of stay of Chinese journalists in the country to only three months, and none have received a visa renewal. Chinese journalists in the US have been facing visa delays since 2018 when the US tightened restrictions.

The US has only granted single-entry visas to Chinese journalists, forcing them to file for a renewal every time they leave the country, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said at the regular press meeting on Thursday.

Chinese reporters were asked to submit far more documents and information, such as their social media accounts, outbound travel records in the past 15 years and a list of social contacts, seriously infringing on their privacy, Hua said. 

Since 2018, about 30 Chinese journalists have experienced indefinite visa approval delays or have been refused a visa to the US. In March, the US defined five Chinese state media outlets as foreign missions, subjecting the journalists to tightened scrutiny and a headcount limit. Sixty Chinese journalists were forced to leave as a result. 

On May 11, the US announced its decision to limit visas for Chinese journalists to a maximum 90-day stay starting from May 8.

All Chinese journalists in the US have applied in advance for extensions as required, but so far have not been approved, leaving them living with uncertainty. By contrast, the vast majority of foreign correspondents in China are issued a press card valid for one year, Hua said.

It has also become more difficult for Chinese reporters to conduct interviews in the US, as Chinese journalists face discrimination and have even been interrogated in some group interview activities. The US has also raised the visa fee in the name of "reciprocity," making Chinese journalists pay $1,037 for a visa application, while US journalists in China pay only $350 for a visa and a residence permit, Hua noted.

China's Foreign Ministry has ramped up conveniences to foreign journalists, and initiated many multiple conversations with the US on protecting the interests of journalists from both countries. However, the US has outrageously taken the visa extension issue as a hostage to demand that the more than 10 journalists of the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times, whose press cards were handed back, be allowed to return to China, while no Chinese journalists got visa extension.

Hua stressed discriminating against Chinese journalists is part of the US's all-round and multi-faceted crackdown on and containment of China.

China's Foreign Ministry has urged the US to give up its discriminatory practices against Chinese media and protect the safety and rights of Chinese journalists stationed in the US.


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