Premier Wen Jiabao signed a decree issuing a set of regulations on reporting activities in China by foreign journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period, the Xinhua News Agency reported today.
The regulations are aimed at foreign journalists, who are allowed to legally report in the People's Republic of China during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in order to spread the Olympic spirit abroad.
Foreign journalists could conduct interviews as long as they get consent from the interviewees, according to the rules.
It includes nine items that cover jounalists' visas, radio communications equipment and Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards. The regulations will come into effect January 1, 2007 and expire on October 27, 2008.
The new rules mark a surprising step forward in addressing a major concern for the Olympic movement and international media: how China would deal with the 20,000 foreign media staff expected in Beijing for the Games.
The full text of the regulations is as follows:
REGULATIONS ON REPORTING ACTIVITIES IN CHINA BY FOREIGN JOURNALISTS DURING THE BEIJING OLYMPIC GAMES AND THE PREPARATORY PERIOD
These Regulations are formulated to facilitate reporting activities carried out in accordance with the laws of the People's Republic of China by foreign journalists in China to advance and promote the Olympic Spirit during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period.
These Regulations apply to reporting activities carried out by foreign journalists covering the Beijing Olympic Games and related matters in China during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period.
The Beijing Olympic Games mentioned in the Regulations refer to the 29th Olympic Games and the 13th Paralympic Games.
Foreign journalists who intend to come to China for reporting should apply for visas at Chinese embassies, consulates or other visa-issuing institutions authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.
Foreign journalists who hold valid Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards and Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Cards are entitled to multiple entries into the territory of the People's Republic of China with visa exemption by presenting Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards, together with valid passports or other travel documents.
Foreign journalists may bring a reasonable quantity of reporting equipments into China duty free for their own use. The aforementioned equipments should be shipped out of China's territory at the end of their reporting activities.
To bring into China reporting equipment duty free for their own use, foreign journalists should apply for the Equipment Confirmation Letter at Chinese embassies or consulates and present the Equipment Confirmation Letter together with a J-2 visa when going through customs inspection.
Foreign journalists who hold Olympic Identity and Accreditation Cards and Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Cards may present the Equipment Confirmation Letter issued by the Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games when going through customs inspection.
For reporting needs, foreign journalists may, on a temporary basis, bring in, install and use radio communication equipment after completing the required application and approval procedures.
To interview organizations or individuals in China, foreign journalists need only to obtain their prior consent.
Foreign journalists may, through organizations providing services to foreign nationals, hire Chinese citizens to assist them in their reporting activities.
The media guide for foreign journalists of the Beijing Olympic Games shall be formulated by the Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games in accordance with these Regulations.
These Regulations shall come into force as of 1 January 2007 and expire on 17 October 2008.