National Press Club

Club speaks out against restrictions on reporters in China

January 30, 2014 | By John M. Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

The National Press Club expressed profound concern Jan. 30 about reports that the Chinese government is restricting the ability of foreign journalists to do their jobs in that country.

New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy was forced to leave China over delays in processing his press credentials. He is one of many U.S. journalists who have waited months or years to have visas issued or press credentials renewed.

“Every reporter working in China, regardless of nationality, should be allowed to do his or her job without restrictions or intimidation,” said Myron Belkind, president of the National Press Club.

The Obama administration criticized China today for its restrictions on foreign journalists, saying it is ``deeply concerned'' about extended delays in processing visas, travel restrictions and, in some cases, violence.

``These restrictions and treatment are not consistent with freedom of the press -- and stand in stark contrast with U.S. treatment of Chinese and other foreign journalists,'' White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a Jan. 30 statement.

The administration has raised objections with the Chinese government ``repeatedly and at the highest levels,'' Carney said.

``Our two countries should be expanding media exchanges to enhance mutual understanding and trust, not restricting the ability of journalists to do their work,'' Carney said.