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Don’t punish Chinese restrictions with more restrictions

Posted by on 2012/06/21. Filed under Opinions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator

The Committee to ProtectJournalists is watching with concern the progress of H.R. 2899, theChinese Media Reciprocity Act of 2011, which was under discussion Wednesday infront of the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. The bill seeksto reduce the number of visas available to journalists (and their families) workingin the United States for 13 Chinese state-controlled publications. The aim isto pressure Beijing into allowing more Voice of America reporters into China;VOA staffers tell us that they are allowed only two China visas to cover acountry of more than 1.3 billion people.

CPJ’s many objections to China’s media policies, includingits approach to foreign media, are well documented.But we don’t believe that the best response to press freedom restrictions inChina is to implement press freedom restrictions in the U.S. We don’t approveof the use of specific visas for journalists in the first place, although werecognize that it is a widespread practice. In an ideal world, we wouldsee as many journalists as possible in all countries, moving as freely aspossible across borders. Read more

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