In the latest round of retaliatory between Washington and Beijing targeting media outlets of each other, Chinese officials imposed new visa restrictions on overseas journalists working for United States news agencies in China amid growing bilateral tensions. In the last week, during the normal renewal of their journalist’s credentials – which usually valid for twelve months – several journalists handed a letter that read their applications are under process rather than a new press card. They recommended carrying the letter together with their expired press cards as proof of the identity of a journalist.
— 🚶🏻Curtis S. Chin (@CurtisSChin) September 7, 2020
Since the visas of China tied to their press cards, these journalists issued the latest visa valid for only around two months, much less than the usual twelve months. Chinese officials made clear that the temporary press credentials, as well as the visas associated with them – might revoke anytime, leaving affected journalists in a midpoint without knowing clearly how long they would able to remain in China. David Culver, the American correspondent of CNN, stands among those impacted by the latest move of China.
CNN acknowledged that targeted reporters include both United States nationals and non-U.S. nationals from many American media organizations, including the Wall Street Journal. Chinese officials told Culver that the recent restriction had nothing to do with his reporting else was a tit-for-tat move in response to the treatment of the Trump administration of Chinese journalists in the U.S.
Chinese officials told U.S. diplomats in Beijing about the latest move
A spokesman of CNN confirmed the new shortened visa of Culver. He adds that one of the Beijing-based journalists of the United States recently issued a two months valid visa, instead of one year. Though the U.S. presence on the Chinese land remains unchanged, and the team continues to work with the local officials to ensure that continues.
CNN: “One of our Beijing-based journalists was recently issued a visa valid for 2 months, instead of the usual 12. However, our presence on the ground in China remains unchanged and we are continuing to work with local authorities to ensure that continues.”https://t.co/CTGAsGlIty
— David Culver (@David_Culver) September 6, 2020
On Sunday, the United States State Department revealed that Chinese authorities recently informed its diplomats in Beijing about China’s government’s impending measures awaiting measures targeting American media in China. Morgan Ortagus, the department spokesman, said that the U.S. would face trouble after the proposed actions. And eventually will worsen the neutral reporting environment in China.
He adds that the latest actions of Beijing prove time and again that the ruling party of Chinese – the Chinese Communist Party is afraid of investigative and independent media reporting that has only increases and intensifies the world’s understanding of China for the better. Washington limited the stay duration for most United States-based Chinese journalists to ninety days in May.
China claims that none of its journalists heard back from the American officials on the status of their recent applications for visa extension, which seriously disrupts their life and work. In case of no approval, the Chinese journalists will have to leave America by early November, exactly when the new Chinese visa of Culver set to expire.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman views on the recent situation
Hua Chunying, the Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said at a regular press briefing in Beijing that the core of the media issue between the United States and China is the American political oppression and suppression against the China media out of the ideological bias and Cold War mentality. If the United States keeps moving further down the erroneous path, China has no option but to make a compulsory and defensible reaction to uphold its valid rights definitely.
At the start of 2020, China effectually expelled around a dozen U.S. journalist from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post after the Trump administration capped the number of Chinese citizens allowed to work in the United States offices of Chinese state-run media, resulting in huge staff cuts in these operations.
After that, Washington designated an increasing number of American offices of Chinese state-run news agencies as foreign missions, demanding them to file administrative work with the United States authorities on their finances and personnel. On the other hand, Beijing retaliates back by demanding the same multiple American news outlets in China.
The American State Department’s Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, David Stilwell, said that the China state-run outlets received the designation because the United States government takes them as propaganda outlets efficiently controlled by China’s ruling party else than independent news agencies.