Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Wednesday September 6, 2006
Beijing's Olympics organisers have promised that the international media will be allowed to travel freely around China by the time the Games start in 2008, Britain's minister for culture, media and sport Tessa Jowell said yesterday.
The assurance - given by the head of the organising committee, Liu Qi - would require a loosening of some of the tightest restrictions on foreign journalists in the world. Correspondents are frequently detained by police and sent back to Beijing when they try to cover sensitive stories in the provinces.
Britain, Germany and other European countries have urged China to drop these controls and to grant the same freedoms permitted to Chinese reporters in London, Berlin and other western capitals.
Mrs Jowell, who is visiting Beijing as UK Olympic minister, said she received a positive response when she raised the issue with her counterpart, Mr Liu. "He gave me a clear assurance that he would support unimpeded movement of accredited and non-accredited journalists to report not just on the Games but on China," she said. Read More....http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,1865766,00.html