US, China ease restrictions on journalists
The U.S. and China are easing visa restrictions on each other’s reporters, a State Department spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday.
The spokesperson said the countries have been collaborating for months and have agreed to give journalists who are eligible under the countries’ laws yearlong visas that can be renewed.
The two countries will also let the foreign journalists travel internationally without fear they won’t be able to get back in the U.S. or China.
The news was first reported by Chinese state outlet China Daily.
The agreement comes after journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post were kicked out of China last year after former President Trump said the pandemic was made in a lab in China, The New York Times reported.
In retaliation, Trump limited visas for Chinese journalists to 90 days.
It is not clear if the same journalists who were kicked out of China last year will be allowed back following this deal.
“We have remained in close consultation with the affected outlets, as well as other outlets facing personnel shortages due to PRC [People’s Republic of China] government policy decisions, and we are gratified their correspondents will be able to return to the PRC to continue their important work,” the spokesperson said.
The State Department sees this deal “as initial steps.”
The announcement follows President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s virtual summit on Monday, although the deal was not discussed during the leaders’ conversation.
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