US visa suppression against Chinese reporters leaves some with less than 3 days to work

By Cao Siqi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/2 20:03:40

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry Photo: cnsphoto

Some Chinese reporters in the US may have to halt their work starting this Wednesday as the US only approved their visa extensions last week but the extensions are only good until November 4. 

The journalists have to apply for visa extensions again, but they were told during the extension application period that they were banned from reporting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Monday's press briefing. 

Wang urged the US to stop political persecution and suppression against Chinese reporters; otherwise, China will take firm reciprocal measures. 

On May 8, the US reduced the length of stay of Chinese journalists in the US to less than 90 days, with extensions to be applied for every three months. 

Experts believe the move reflects US hypocrisy and lack of confidence in its development.

"Offering visa extensions for such a short period of time shows that the US lacks fundamental sincerity toward China's earlier protests," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday. 

"It's blatant obstruction," Li said. 

Li pointed out that the US does not seem to want Chinese reporters to conduct interviews in its country. Similar concerns have also been raised to reporters from Russia.

On August 17, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a routine press briefing that Chinese journalists have long submitted their visa extension applications to the US government, but no one has received any reply.

The US has been escalating its suppression of Chinese media out of its Cold War mentality and ideological bias. 

On October 26, China demanded that China-based branches of six US media in the country declare in written form the information about their staff, finances, operations and real estate in China within seven days in a reciprocal measure against the US decision to designate six more Chinese media as "foreign missions."

Analysts also suggested that China could impose visa restrictions on American journalists in Hong Kong as a countermeasure to US suppression.


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