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BEIJING (AP) — China and the U.S. have agreed to ease restrictions on each other’s journalists amid a slight relaxation of tensions between the two sides.
The official China Daily newspaper on Wednesday said the agreement was reached ahead of Tuesday’s virtual summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden.
The agreement represents a degree of progress on an issue that has long aggravated relations, but details remain to be ironed out. COVID-19 travel restrictions and long-standing obstacles faced by foreign media within China are also factors standing in the way of a major breakthrough in media relations.
Under the agreement, the U.S. will issue one-year multiple-entry visas to Chinese journalists and will immediately initiate a process to address “duration of status” issues, China Daily said. China will reciprocate by granting equal treatment to U.S. journalists once the U.S. policies take effect, and both sides will issue media visas for new applicants “based on relevant laws and regulations,” the report said.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian gave no information on a timeline for implementation, but called the agreement a “hard-won achievement that is in the interest of both sides and should be cherished.”
“We hope that the U.S. will keep its promise to put the relevant measures and policies in place as soon as possible and work with China to create favorable conditions for both (nations’) media to continue to work and live in each other’s countries,” Zhao said at a daily briefing.
In a statement to