China and the United States to ease restrictions on media workers from each other

China and the United States to ease restrictions on media workers from each other

Beijing China and the United States agreed to ease restrictions on media workers from each other amid a slight easing of tensions between the two sides.

The official China Daily newspaper said on Wednesday that the agreement was reached before Tuesday’s virtual summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden.

Under the agreement, the United States will issue one-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese media workers and immediately start a process to address “term status” issues, China Daily said. The report said China would reciprocate by giving equal treatment to US journalists once the US policies went into effect, and the two sides would issue media visas to new applicants “on the basis of relevant laws and regulations.”

In a statement to the Associated Press late Tuesday, the State Department said China has committed to issuing visas to a group of US reporters “provided they are eligible under all applicable laws and regulations.”

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“We will also continue to issue visas to (Chinese) journalists who are eligible for visa under US law,” the statement said.

China also committed to increasing the validity of US media visas from the current 90 days to one year.

“On the basis of reciprocity, we are committed to increasing the validity of US visas issued to PRC journalists to one year as well,” the State Department statement said, referring to the People’s Republic of China.

She added that the two sides will also offer multiple entry visas.

Restrictions on media workers have fueled tensions between the two countries for more than a year after the United States limited the number of visas issued to Chinese state media workers and required those remaining to register as foreign agents, among other changes.

China has responded by expelling journalists working at US outlets and imposing severe restrictions on those who continue to work in the country.

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