Washington accuses China of “harassing” foreign journalists

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The United States on Tuesday accused China of “threatening” and “harassing” foreign journalists after Beijing’s decision to freeze US media credentials amid deep tensions.

The Trump administration unleashed hostilities in 2020 against Chinese media in the United States, in the name of tackling restrictions faced by the foreign press in China.

An American policy which provoked retaliatory measures on the part of Beijing. The two powers have in particular in turn expelled a number of reporters from the other country in recent months.

“For several decades, China has threatened, harassed and expelled American and foreign journalists,” criticized the spokeswoman for American diplomacy, Morgan Ortagus, quoted in a statement from the United States embassy in Beijing.

The last point of friction between the two powers concerns the duration of accreditations.

Washington is now only granting 90-day visas to Chinese journalists on American soil.

In retaliation, at least five foreign correspondents from four American media (including the daily Wall Street Journal, CNN television and the Bloomberg agency) were unable to renew their press card, which is essential to exercise, according to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. in China (FCCC).

The reporters concerned, not necessarily of American nationality, received official letters instead.

These documents allow them to continue living and working in China but can be revoked at any time.

The United States “is working tirelessly” to convince China to allow American journalists to practice normally, said Ortagus.

The Chinese authorities expelled during the first half of 2020 a record number of 17 foreign journalists by canceling their press cards, according to the FCCC.

Washington in March imposed a sharp reduction in the number of Chinese allowed to work for their country’s state media in the United States. Since then, 60 Chinese journalists have been forced to pack up, according to Beijing.

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