On November 16, China News Agency reported that before the video meeting, the leaders of China and the United States reached three consensuses on media issues, including the United States resuming the multi-year visa for Chinese journalists stationed in the United States and resolving the issue of visa stay period. From then on, the CCP will give the same treatment to American journalists stationed in China.
That night, the US State Department issued a statement confirming the news. The statement also stated that China is committed to allowing American journalists to leave and return to China freely. The US plans to provide similar facilities for Chinese journalists.
Since the U.S.-China relationship deteriorated due to the trade conflict in 2018, the two sides have begun to restrict each other’s media organizations. Since September 2018, the United States has successively defined 15 Chinese media including Xinhua News Agency as foreign agents. In May 2020, the United States reduced the number of visa stays for Chinese journalists stationed in the United States to 90 days. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China stated that the Chinese Communist Party will also take “reciprocal measures” against US journalists.
This statement sparked heated discussions among netizens on Twitter. Netizens questioned that in China, where there is no freedom of the press, even if the journalist visa is relaxed, Western journalists will be unable to make any progress. The Chinese spies have freedom of the press when they arrive in the United States. Such unequal exchanges are destined to harm the United States and benefit the CCP.
For a long time, the treatment received by the US journalists in China and the CCP journalists in the United States has been seriously unequal. Pompeo, the former Secretary of State, stated in September last year that the US restrictions on Chinese propaganda agencies are completely incomparable with the CCP’s suppression of American free media. CCP reporters can cover freely in the United States, but American reporters are strictly restricted by the CCP in terms of their number, visas, and scope of activities. At the same time, the CCP also interfered with the reports of American journalists by controlling visas and interviews, and even beat and illegally detained them.