More discussion of the Rohrabacher bill to require US/China parity in visas for "state-backed journalists."
Posted: 08 Nov 2011 Print Send a link
Wall Street Journal, China Realtime Report, 7 Nov 2011, Brian Spegele: "[A] recent proposal by U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California and two other Republican congressmen ... if passed, would require the number of journalists from Chinese state-backed media organizations in the U.S. not to exceed the number of similar U.S. state-backed journalists issued visas in China. The U.S. in 2010 issued visas to 650 Chinese journalists working for state-owned news organizations, according to the proposal. Two U.S. journalists working for U.S. government-owned news organizations were issued visas in China. ... Examples of Chinese state-owned media, as listed by the proposal, include Xinhua and the English-language China Daily newspaper, among several others. The comparison is a bit of an odd one considering the U.S. doesn’t have a tradition of state-controlled press like China does. The two U.S. journalists in China working for U.S. government-owned media work for Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, Rep. Rohrabacher’s office says. ... Perhaps the proposal will be among the long list of House resolutions that never make it out of committee. On the other hand, an apparent growing anti-China sentiment in Washington could breathe it some life. Either way, one thing seems clear: Xinhua and other state-run Chinese media have an image problem abroad." -- It has been my understanding that RFA has no staff reporters in China. China has provided visas only to VOA reporters. Because most domestic media in China are government-owned, and most domestic media in the United States are not, the Rohrabacher bill could create a disparity in the other direction -- and result in fewer Chinese visas for correspondents of US private media. In China, Blue Ocean Network claims to be privately owned. If it were to apply for US visas, a US court might have to decide if BON is truly private. See previous post about same subject.