China and the U.S. have agreed to ease restrictions on each other's media workers amid a slight easing of tensions between the two sides.
The official China Daily newspaper on Wednesday said the agreement was reached ahead of Tuesday’s virtual summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden.
Under the agreement, the U.S. will issue one-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese media workers and will immediately initiate a process to address “duration of status” issues, China Daily said. China will reciprocate by granting equal treatment to U.S. journalists once the U.S. policies take effect, and both sides will issue media visas for new applicants “based on relevant laws and regulations," the report said.
In a statement to The Associated Press late Tuesday, the State Department said China had committed to issuing visas for a group of U.S. reporters “provided they are eligible under all applicable laws and regulations."
“We will also continue issuing visas to (Chinese) journalists who are otherwise eligible for the visa under U.S. law," the statement said.
China also committed to increase the length for which U.S. media visas are valid from the current 90 days to one year.
“On a reciprocal basis, we are committing to increase validity of U.S. visas issued to PRC journalists to one year as well," the State Department statement said, referring to the People's Republic of China.
Both sides will also offer multiple-entry visas, it said.
Limits on media workers have fueled tensions between the two countries for more than a year after the U.S. limited the number of visas issued to Chinese state media workers and required those remaining to register as foreign agents, among other changes.
China responded by expelling journalists working for U.S. outlets and severely restricting conditions for those continuing to work in the country.
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