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China: The circle for foreign media has narrowed

Journalist Emily Feng wrote an article about China “Sunil Noodles” for the American broadcaster NPR. Apparently it was a light and simple article but who knew it could be a disaster for them.

The article, written for the US media, was heavily criticized by Chinese state media and then garnered online comments, even calling it an anti-China article. However, Feng wrote the article about a popular Chinese dish.

He mentioned in the article the smell of noodles coming from the hot steam. He wrote that these rice noodles boiled in snail broth are very popular among the Chinese people. This is a typical dish of Guangzhou province, but it became popular throughout the country during the Corona epidemic.

While this article was discussed on news and social media, a report on the situation of foreign journalists in China has also come to light.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of China, or FCCC, has released its latest report on media freedom in 2021, stating that “foreign journalists in China The United States faces significant obstacles in fulfilling its professional responsibilities, as Beijing seeks to curb and disenfranchise independent reporting.

Many journalists have had to quit their jobs because of intimidation by the Chinese government and, at times, expelling those who report on China. “

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has declared the FCCC illegal and China has never recognized it.

The FCCC report, released on January 31, states that online and offline surveillance of foreign correspondents in China continues. According to the report, almost all foreign journalists have to respond to an annual survey. According to the report's compilers, the news resources available in China are not up to international standards.

According to the same report, the Chinese authorities also seem to encourage legal action against foreign journalists. These journalists are not even allowed to leave the country due to appearing in civil or criminal cases and courts.

A Hanoi peddler sells snail noodles. File photo

The Chinese embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment from the Chinese embassy in Washington last week.

According to the report, journalists who cannot reside in China have to report from Taipei, Singapore, Sydney and London. Hong Kong used to be a preferred location outside of China, but with the implementation of China's national security law in 2020, freedom of the press has been eroded there as well. Under the law, local journalists are being arrested and imprisoned.

The press cards of the remaining journalists working for the American news agencies are not being renewed. At least 22 journalists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Japan and New Zealand are facing difficulties in obtaining permanent residency visas. Authorities have reduced their visas from one year to two or three months, and the journalist is now in a state of shock.

China has suspended the visa applications of many journalists under the guise of coronavirus sanctions. As a result, many media outlets are understaffed. Authorities also reject requests for news tours and interviews, citing ongoing precautionary measures against the global epidemic.

Cheng Ping is a former correspondent who now travels from Germany to comment on Chinese affairs. “China believes that it has now become the center of attention for the world and that is why you see Xi Jinping seem to be setting the direction for the world. Attacks on the media and journalists are aimed,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then.

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