China is trying its best to facilitate foreign media's coverage of the Olympics, said Beijing Olympic Games' spokesman Guo Weimin on Thursday.
In response to recent reports concerning worries on whether foreign media could cover news freely in China, Guo reiterated such reporters, as well as those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, were free in covering news and doing interviews during the Games once it was agreed by the people or organizations to be interviewed.
The regulation on reporting activities in China by foreign media during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period had been implemented for about a year, Guo said during the press conference. "Generally, we have received favorable feedback from the foreign media."
The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) and other relevant departments had offered "as much assistance as possible" to foreign media. Efforts were made to help them import their equipment into China smoothly, he said.
So far, the authorities had approved 407 applications from television transmission companies and registered media for importing and using satellite devices. These included 52 satellite news operations.
The local authorities had also cooperated with foreign media in requests to hire helicopters for shooting and setting up cameras in some popular tourists sites, including Tian'anmen Square, Guo said.
Beijing had learned from other Olympic hosts how to efficiently operate its three media centers for the Games, Guo said. Since starting operation on July 8, its centers had operated accordingly.
From this week, there would be two press conferences daily on average, in addition to pool interviews and cultural functions.
"We will try our best to serve all media and welcome them to give us advice and proposals," Guo said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2008)