US-China Business Council Welcomes Decision To Ease Visa Regime For Journalists

US-China Business Council Welcomes Decision to Ease Visa Regime for Journalists

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th November, 2021) The decision reached by the United States and China to ease the visa regime for journalists will allow the two countries to better understand each other, US-China business Council (USCBC) spokesman Douglas Barry told Sputnik on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the two countries had reached a deal on the issuance of one-year multiple entry visas to reporters. The State Department has confirmed that the US and China mutually committed to increase visa validity for each other's journalists to one year. It welcomed the progress, but noted that the US sees it simply as initial steps.

"The agreement to accommodate journalists is important because both countries need to know what's going on in the other," Barry said.

Barry expressed regret that Chinese media is censored, adding that the agreement on visas for journalists is important because it will fill the existing gaps in knowledge.

"Something is better than nothing. American citizens and policy makers need to know more, not less, about what is going on in China. China officials should want that too," he said.

Current rules allow Chinese journalists to perform their duties in the United States with the existing "I visa" given to foreign reporters during a period not more than 90 days, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.