(TibetanReview.net, Apr05’19) – As the issue of reciprocal access to Tibet gains rising currency in the West, foreign journalists based in China have called for the elimination of restrictions on foreign correspondents traveling to the region by 2021, ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Releasing a position paper, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China has called on China to give reporters unfettered access to the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas.
In the meantime the club has called on Beijing to approve all reporting-trip applications and cease intimidation of Tibetan sources or would-be sources.
The club’s current position paper builds on the one it released last week, which said, “obstacles to reporting pose a serious impediment to obtaining accurate information about the lives of ethnic Tibetans in China.” It added that “unlike other provinces and regions in the country, journalists who seek to report in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) are required to first obtain permission from the government. This permission is rarely granted.”
The new position paper says Chinese authorities should approve all applications for individual reporting trips to Tibet by the end of 2019 and eliminate the requirement of pre-approval for reporting trips to the TAR in time for the 2022 Olympics in China.
Also, the paper calls on the Chinese government to stop intimidating reporters’ sources and allow journalists to speak with anyone who agrees to an interview.
The paper also calls on foreign governments to protest China’s intimidation of journalists who interview the Dalai Lama and request data from Beijing on journalists’ applications to report on Tibet.
In this connection, the paper also asks foreign governments to push for the release of Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan language rights advocate who was sentenced to five years in jail in 2018 after he appeared in a New York Times video calling for a genuine implementation of China’s law for the protection and use of that language in ethnic Tibetan areas.