China, US agree to end restrictions on journalists

Both sides agree to issue visas to media workers.

ISTANBUL (AA) – China and the US have agreed to end restrictions on journalists, thus signaling the first positive outcome of a virtual summit held between their leaders on Tuesday.

“China and the United States will permit journalists and other media workers to freely move between both countries on the condition they strictly comply with the COVID-19 control protocols,” China Daily reported.

The US State Department has also confirmed the development.

Amid worsening bilateral relations under former President Donald Trump’s administration, the two sides had put reciprocal restrictions on the movement of journalists from either country. Washington had also designated several Chinese media outlets as foreign missions.

Chinese Foreign Ministry sources told the Chinese daily that easing media visa controls “was one of three points agreed between the two sides” ahead of the virtual meeting between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden.

“It was agreed that the US will issue one-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese media workers and will immediately initiate a process to address duration of status issues,” the report added.

“Based on the principle of reciprocity,” it said, “the Chinese side commits to granting equal treatment to US journalists immediately after the relevant US policies come into force.”

When asked for comment on the new development regarding lifting restrictions on journalists, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told a news conference Beijing hopes Washington “will honor its commitment and implement relevant measures as soon as possible.”


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