Wu, minister of the State Council Information Office, speaks at a press
conference in Beijing December 28, 2006. Cai talked about the construction
of the spokesman system and efforts in building transparent government. He
also answered questions from reporters at the conference. [ciic]|
China's top publicity official Cai Wu
hinted Thursday that new regulations granting foreign journalists more freedom
to report in China -- which go into effect next week -- may be prolonged after
the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
China on December 1 issued a set of regulations granting foreign journalists
more freedom to report in China in the run-up to and during the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing.
The regulations will come into force on January 1, 2007, and expire on
October 17, 2008.
Answering a question raised by an Icelandic reporter, Cai said "If the new
regulations prove beneficial to our development and to exchanges between us and
foreign media, and if they aid communication with the international community,
then I imagine there will be no need to change the policy".
But he pointed out these were his personal views and not a formal
Cai said that the new regulations contained several changes from the
Regulations on the Supervision of Foreign Journalists and Resident Foreign News
Organs issued in 1990.
"Many changes have taken place in China and in the world since the 1990s
regulations were issued, we needed to bring the regulations up to date," he
said, pointing out that "the Olympic Games provided us with a good opportunity
to adjust the regulations."
There are currently 606 resident journalists from 319 foreign news
organizations of 49 countries working in China. About 3,000 to 5,000 foreign
journalists visit China each year.