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China, US agree to ease visa regulations on journalists

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China, US agree to ease visa regulations on journalists
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Washington: Amid easing tensions between the US and China, both nations have agreed to ease restrictions on each other's journalists. It was decided a day ahead of the virtual summit between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US president Joe Biden held a day earlier.

Under the agreement, both nations will grant media visas for new applicants based on relevant laws and regulations. Currently, visas granted to journalists have duration of only three months.

The official China Daily newspaper said that the US has agreed to issue a one-year, multiple entry visa for Chinese journalists. The duration of status issues will be immediately addressed. China has agreed to grant equal treatment to American journalists after the US policies take effect.

The US state department told Associated Press that China has agreed to issue visas for a group of American journalists as long as they are eligible under applicable laws and regulations. We are also committing to increase the validity of US visas issued to the People's Republic of China's journalists on a reciprocal basis, said the state department.

China has committed to allowing American reporters in the country to "freely depart and return." The US officials said that they will be reciprocating the treatment.

Limits on visas issued to media persons have been a cause of tension between the US and China for over a year. The US had limited the number of visas issued to Chinese state media workers along with asking remaining Chinese journalists to register as foreign agents.

China had responded by expelling American reporters. Media firms like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal were affected by China's move.

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