Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Tianjin on Tuesday that the government will
consider foreign media applications requesting to post resident
correspondents in more Chinese cities.
Liu said that the government had received applications from
foreign news organizations to establish resident branches or
journalists in cities other than the five currently allowed.
"China will be more open to foreign media and welcomes more
foreign journalists into China," Liu told a forum on media
cooperation among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN). Japan, South Korea and China additionally attended the
forum on Tuesday.
"We will study the applications in a comprehensive and a
positive way," said Liu at the forum in Tianjin.
Liu, who is also director-general of the ministry's Information
Department, stated, "The conditions for foreign journalists to
gather news inside China have been improving, especially since the
start of the year."
He was referring to the Regulations on Reporting Activities in
China by Foreign Journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the Preparatory
Period, which took effect on Jan. 1.
The regulations lifted internal travel restrictions on foreign
journalists and allowed them to interview anyone as long as
the interviewee gave permission.
"The regulations were warmly welcomed by the international
community and the foreign media. China's opening to foreign media
will continue after the Beijing Olympic Games," said Liu.
Currently, foreign media organizations are allowed to establish
resident representation in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing
The two-day forum stemmed from a proposal put forward by Premier
Wen Jiabao at the 10th ASEAN plus Three (Japan,
South Korea and China) Summit in the Philippines in January. More
than 100 journalism professionals attended the forum. They
represented more than 30 mass media organizations in ASEAN and
Japan, South Korea and China.
There has been a sharp increase in foreign media presence, from
606 resident foreign correspondents from 315 organization based in
49 countries in China since the year's start to 705 from 351 media
organizations based in 53 countries. 2,060 foreign journalists came
to China on reporting tours.
(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2007)