The United States expressed Friday its deep concern about the “surveillance”, “harassment” and “intimidation” suffered by American and foreign journalists in China and called on the authorities of the Asian giant to ensure that they can exercise their work freely and safely.
That harassment has become visible in recent days with foreign media covering the floods in the central Chinese province of Henan, says the statement released by the Department of State, in which Washington conveys its condolences to all those affected by the tragedy.
The Chinese government claims to welcome foreign media and support their work, but its actions tell a different story, the note adds.
Washington denounces that the harsh rhetoric spread by the Chinese state media towards any news considered critical of official policies has provoked tense confrontations and episodes of harassment, as well as insults and death threats through the Internet to journalists who “are simply doing their job.”
“Foreign journalists are increasingly refused visas to enter or remain in the PRC,” stresses the Department of State, before adding that this severely limits the quantity and quality of independent reporting on important issues.
Washington, therefore, calls on China to act as a “responsible nation” and ensure that journalists remain safe in the country and can report freely.