China will apply new visa restrictions for international journalists who work for US media organizations in China, the local authorities in China have revealed.
US journalists in China seeking to renew their press credentials that usually are valid for a year have received a letter stressing that their applications are being processed, instead of receiving a new press card, VisaGuide.World reports.
International journalists in China have also been urged to carry the letter together with their expired press cards to confirm their profile, as accredited journalists.
Authorities in China have also highlighted that journalists’ press credentials, as well as visas linked to them, could be revoked at any time, creating confusion about how long US media employees could stay in China.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) revealed that more than five journalists at four US news organizations had faced the new visa restriction during the last days.
CNN’s American correspondent David Culver has been affected by China’s latest move. Culver was told by Chinese officials that the visa restriction is a “reciprocal measure” for the Trump administration’s treatment applied to journalists from China who work in the United States.
“One of our Beijing-based journalists was recently issued a visa valid for two months, instead of the usual twelve. However, our presence on the ground in China remains unchanged, and we are continuing to work with local authorities to ensure that continues,” a CNN spokesperson noted, confirming Culver’s shortened visa.
The FCCC said that more international journalists based in China would receive the letters instead of receiving their renewed press cards, while the club also expressed their disapproval of the way the Chinese authorities were shortening visas of Us journalists.
On Sunday, the US State Department pointed out that the diplomats in Beijing had recently been informed regarding China’s government imposed measures, which affect US media, in China.
“The United States is, of course, troubled that these proposed actions … will worsen the reporting environment in China,” department’s spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said.
In May, Washington had decided to limit the duration of stay for a large share of journalists from China, who work in the US to 90 days.