"Zero refusal" to provide better access to foreign journalists in China

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Beijing, Aug 14 (ANI): Chinese Government has decided to provide enhanced access to foreign journalists in a policy called "zero refusal", realising that it would lead to more objective reports about the country.

"Zero refusal means that the ministries must designate people to deal with calls and interview requests from foreign media and that they have to give a response within 24 hours or the period they prescribe, no matter what the result is," The China Daily quoted Guo Weimin, Director of the SCIO press department, as saying.

"It doesn't mean all applications will be accepted, but we have to tell the media how we handled it, so they can understand," he added.

China had provided unprecedented access to foreign journalists in 2007, under a set of provisional regulations for the Beijing Olympics Games in 2008, which saved journalists from the troublesome process of seeking permission for interviews from local governments.

"We hope all ministries will welcome interaction with the foreign media. If they find calls to ministries unanswered, or are met with a cold manner, they can complain to us," Weimin added.

Weimin also said that local governments are being asked to provide relevant sources and basic local information to the foreign officials.

All ministries and provinces have been urged to allow overseas media and those from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to attend their press conferences.

Meanwhile, more than 700 foreign reporters working in China have greeted the changes favourably. (ANI)

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