Amid soaring tensions between the US and China with both nations targeting each other’s media organisations, Beijing has imposed new visa restrictions on foreign journalists working for American organisations. According to reports, in the last week, during the routine renewal of their press credentials, that are traditionally valid for a year, numerous journalists received a letter saying that their applications were being processed. Instead of receiving the new press card, the journalists were advised to carry the letter along with their expired card as proof of their journalistic identity.
However, since the Chinese visas are connected to the press cards of the journalists, they were issued a new visa which is valid only for nearly two months. A time span significantly less than that of 12 months. The Chinese authorities have reportedly also made it evident that these temporary press credentials can be revoked at any instance. This has further impacted the journalists, mostly American, who are stuck in a limbo of not knowing how long they would remain in the country.
Meanwhile, China had recently responded to the US ban on Chinese firms by adding several high-tech machines such as drones and lasers among nearly two dozen technologies to its restricted export list. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on August 28 had announced the update of adding at least 23 areas of innovation including space engineering, 3D printing, encryption and large-scale high-speed wind tunnel design to the list.
According to ANI, the Chinese government saying that the ‘main purpose’ of increasing the restrictions is to regulate technology exports while promoting scientific and technological progress, economic and technological cooperation, and maintaining national economic security. The chief economist for Greater China from ING Wholesale Banking, Iris Pang was also quoted by Chinese state media saying that the list was the response for ‘the US ban on Chinese tech companies’.