China dismisses US accusation on press freedom violations

Beijing, Feb. 01: China’s Foreign Ministry has reportedly refuted the statement issued by the US Department of State that expressed concern about the working environment of foreign journalists in China and accused the nation of press freedom violations.

Spokesperson Hong Lei said that the statement does not accord with facts and urged foreign journalists in China to observe Chinese laws.

According to ChinaDaily, the statement, issued on January 30, stated that New York Times journalist, Austin Ramzy, had been ‘forced’ to leave China.

Hong said that China follows its own laws and regulations in dealing with issues related to China-based foreign media organizations and journalists.

Hong revealed that Ramzy was a resident correspondent in China for Time magazine until last May when quit the company and notified the Chinese Foreign Ministry about leaving his post and handed back his Foreign Journalist Identity Card issued by the Information Department of the ministry.

Hong further said that since his resident journalist visa had expired and he had not applied to the relevant Chinese departments to change his visa type and residence permit; it lead to a violation of laws and regulations in China.

He stressed that it does not exist at all that Ramzy has been ‘deported’ or ‘forced’ to leave China, adding that the country does not accept the unjustifiable accusations by the US side.

Hong said that China demands the US side to respect facts and take cautious words and acts, adding that the Chinese side urged the US side to “do more conducive to media exchanges and mutual trust between the two countries.”

He further hoped that foreign journalists observe Chinese laws and regulations and do news coverage in an objective and fair-minded way, the report added. (ANI)