Beijing ‘to continue excellent cooperation with US journalists’ if Chinese reporters are treated fairly
The expiring Chinese press credentials of journalists at US media outlets have been held off, as a tussle between Beijing and Washington over journalist visas plays on.
The US media outlets affected by Beijing’s move include Bloomberg, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal.
Chinese journalists in the United States are waiting for their lapsed work visas to be renewed. They have reportedly been allowed to stay in the United States during a 90-day grace period that expires in early November.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tweeted on Monday that “we would be glad to continue our excellent cooperation with the US journalists here, if Chinese journalists are treated fairly in the US.”
The visa extension applications of a CNN journalist and a few other US journalists are being processed, she said, adding “they can continue to live and work here with no problem at all.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Jeremy Page, who is British, as well as American CNN reporter David Culver and two non-American Bloomberg journalists were issued letters allowing them to continue working in China using their expired press credentials for about two months, the outlets said.
CNN confirmed that one of its Beijing-based journalists was recently issued a visa valid for two months.
Relations between Beijing and Washington have recently deteriorated, due to a range of issues. In March, the US slashed the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work at the US offices of major Chinese state-owned media to 100 from 160.
Five Chinese state media outlets were defined as foreign missions, subjecting the journalists to tightened scrutiny, and 60 Chinese journalists were forced to leave as a result. As a tit-for-tat action, China expelled about a dozen American journalists working for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
China says that, since 2018, about 30 of its journalists have experienced indefinite-visa approval delays or have been refused a visa to the US.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced the political persecution and suppression of Chinese journalists as something that “reflects the Cold War mentality and ideological bias of the US.”