The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China welcomes President Hu Jintao’s pledge to uphold the legal rights of foreign journalists in China and calls on the Chinese government to make good on this promise.
The FCCC also urges international media organizations attending the World Media Summit in Beijing to press China to keep its word on reporting rights and freedoms for foreign correspondents.
The FCCC still receives regular reports of interference, harassment and violence against journalists as they do their work. Most recently, a lack of transparency interfered with proper planning and coverage of the Oct. 1 National Day parade, with several journalists reporting interference while trying to cover the ceremony.
“President Hu’s comments are a step in the right direction,” said FCCC President Scott McDonald. “But implementation is crucial. It has been far too patchy in the past.”
The FCCC calls for further action to bring China’s laws and regulations into accordance with international norms — notably regarding limits on state secrecy, protection of sources, freedom of expression on the internet and provisions for independent journalists’ organizations.