China Freezes Visa Renewals for Journalists with U.S.-Based News Outlets

  • VOA News

    September 08, 2020 08:14

    Chinese authorities have stopped renewing press credentials for foreign journalists working for U.S. news organizations in China, the latest move in a continuing cycle of tit-for-tat retaliations between Beijing and Washington over economic and diplomatic disputes.

    Journalists who have recently applied to renew their press credentials, which last for a full year, have instead received temporary press credentials and a new visa which lasts for only two months. 

    CNN has confirmed that one of its own correspondents, American-born David Culver, is one of the journalists affected by China's decision. The New York Times says in addition to CNN, other journalists immediately affected by the move work for The Wall Street Journal and Getty Images, a visual media company which provides digital images for news outlets around the world.

    The Times says it has learned from one journalist that Chinese authorities have said if the Trump administration decides to expel Chinese journalists who are now under new visa regulations imposed by the U.S Department of Homeland Security in May, Beijing will take reciprocal action.

    A resident wearing a mask to curb the spread of the coronavirus stand near a shuttered store that offered visa application services outside the United States Consulate in Chengdu, China on July 25, 2020. /AP

    State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus issued a statement saying that the U.S. "is of course troubled that these proposed actions by the P.R.C. will worsen the reporting environment in China," a reference to the People's Republic of China, the country's formal name.

    The dispute began in March, when Beijing expelled several journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, after the Trump administration limited the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work in five state-run news outlets operating in the United States to 100.  

    The Trump administration then announced in May that all Chinese journalists would only receive 90-day work visas, as opposed to the open-ended, single entry visas they had previously been granted.

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