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Working as a Foreign Correspondent
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With the development and deepening of China's drive to reform and open up, more and more foreign media organizations have set up permanent news bureaus in China and sent correspondents to work in this country. In order to facilitate the foreign correspondents' work and daily life in China, the Information Department has compiled a handbook on the basis of the "Notice to Foreign Resident Correspondents," and the previous Handbook for Foreign Correspondents Working in China.

Authoritative and handy, the handbook is designed to serve journalists, and covers most facets of foreign correspondents' work and everyday life, such as applying for a foreign journalist's card, applying for interviews in China, hiring a Chinese secretary, renting or buying an office or a home, and paying taxes. 



Part I. Procedures for Accreditation in China


A. Foreign Journalist Card


1. Applying for Accreditation in China


According to the "Regulations Concerning Foreign Journalists and Permanent Offices of Foreign News Agencies" (hereafter referred to as the "Regulations"), resident foreign correspondents refer to career journalists dispatched by foreign news agencies to be stationed in China for a period of over six months for news coverage and reporting. They may be based in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in China. The Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in charge of the affairs concerning resident foreign correspondents in China. With the authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Affairs Offices (FAOs) of the Shanghai and Guangzhou Municipal Governments are respectively responsible for foreign resident correspondents in Shanghai and Guangdong.


To station a resident correspondent in China, foreign news agencies must first submit a written application to the Information Department. The application should be sent directly to the Information Department or through a PRC embassy or consulate. The application should be signed by relevant management personnel in the agency's head office and should be accompanied by the following:


1.) A brief description containing basic information about the news agency concerned.


2.) The name, age, gender, nationality, professional title, resume, and intended city of residence of the correspondent to be sent.


3.) Credentials or documents identifying the correspondent as a career journalist.


Upon approval of the application, the news agency may send the correspondent to China. If two or more foreign news agencies want to appoint the same journalist as their resident correspondent in China, they should go through the above-mentioned application procedures separately and indicate in their respective applications the posts the correspondent will concurrently hold.


2. Applying for a Foreign Journalist Card


The Foreign Journalist Card is the bearer's ID card in China. Foreign correspondents must carry and present it for verification when conducting interviews and news reporting. When interviewing or traveling, foreign correspondents are required to carry valid documents with them, including the Foreign Journalist Card, passport and Foreigner Residence Permit.


New Arrivals


Approved foreign correspondents should register at the International Press Center (IPC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within seven working days of their arrival in China. Each new correspondent should bring his/her passport and a letter of appointment signed by relevant management personnel at the headquarters of the correspondent's news agency, such as a chairman, president, vice president, editor-in-chief, deputy editor-in-chief, etc.


Correspondents to be based in Shanghai or Guangzhou should register at the Shanghai FAO and Guandong FAO respectively. They will be asked to fill out two copies of a Foreign Journalist Card registration form, their home and office addresses and submit six passport photos. They will then receive a Foreign Journalist Card issued by the Information Department. The Foreign Journalist Card for resident correspondents in Shanghai and Guangzhou will be issued by the Shanghai FAO and Guangdong FAO respectively.


Handbook for Foreign Correspondents in China


(Beijing.gov.cn October 17, 2006)


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