US, China to ease restrictions on journalists

The US and Chinese governments say they have agreed to ease visa restrictions on each other's journalists.

Last year, the US administration under then-President Donald Trump limited the visa validity period for Chinese journalists, while China banned correspondents of some major US media outlets from working in the country.

On the latest development, a spokesperson for the US State Department told NHK on Tuesday, "We welcome this progress but see it simply as initial steps." The official also said, "We will continue to work toward expanding access and improving conditions for US and other foreign media" in China.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian called the agreement a "hard-won outcome." He said China hopes the US will honor its words and put relevant measures and policies in place as soon as possible.

US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first summit online this week and agreed to continue dialogue. Some observers say the countries made the conciliatory moves to coincide with the talks.