The Olympics

The Olympics


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Friday, 1 December 2006

China Relaxes Rules

China has announced that it will relax some of its restrictions on foreign reporters. It says that it will allow foreign media greater freedom to travel and report in the run up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The regulations will come into effect on 1 January 2007, and will temporarily abolish requirements that currently prohibit foreign reporters from traveling or conducting interviews without government approval.

The new rules state that only the consent of the interview subject is needed.

Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao, said:

"It is crystal clear that as long as the interviewee agrees, you can do your reporting."

Melinda Liu, president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of China and Beijing bureau chief for Newsweek, said:

"In general, this is progress in terms of liberalizing the conditions under which foreign journalists work in China."

However, the new Olympic regulations contain loopholes and expire on October 17th 2008.

Liu, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said:

"Foreign journalists will not limit their activities to the Games themselves. They will also cover politics, science, technology and the economy.

The 'related matters' ... actually expands the areas on which foreign journalists can report

The question is, what will happen after the 17th of October 2008?

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