China is not renewing the expiring press credentials of journalists working for several US media outlets. Reports say this move is a 'reciprocal measure' to Washington's treatment of Chinese journalists in the US.
China And US in Journalist Tit-forTat
Reportedly, the Chinese journalists have been allowed to stay in the US for a 90-day grace period that expires in November.
Jeremy Page and David Culver from The Wall Street Journal and CNN respectively, said they were issued letters allowing them to continue working in China with their expired press credentials.
According to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCC), Bloomberg and another outlet had also been targeted and added that similar treatment would be received by even more foreign journalists.
On Monday, Hua Chunying, the Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman wrote on Twitter that "we would be glad to continue our excellent cooperation with the US journalists here if Chinese journalists are treated fairly in the US."
Chunying also added that "CNN journalists and a few other US journalists' visa extension applications are being processed, during which they can continue to live and work here with no problems at all."
Visas that allow foreign journalists to live in China are linked to their press credentials. Journalists could apply for renewed visas with a letter, however, the new ones would be valid for two months only.
A CNN spokeswoman reported that one of its journalists in Beijing was already issued a two-month visa.
Relations between Beijing and Washington have worsened sharply due to several tit-for-tat actions involving journalists.
The FCCC expressed huge concern at the Chinese government's latest move on Twitter.
"These coercive practices have again turned accredited foreign journalists in China into pawns in a wider diplomatic conflict. The FCCC calls on the Chinese government to halt this cycle of tit-for-tat reprisals in what is quickly becoming the darkest year yet for media freedoms," the FCCC tweeted.