For the first time, Reporters Without Borders has been able to visit the People’s Republic of China officially. The organisation held talks with the authorities during the visit, raising the issue of press freedom and ways to improve it. Government officials said they were ready to reconsider the situation of journalists and Internet users who are currently imprisoned.
These talks mark the start of a dialogue which both parties would like to pursue in a constructive manner. The authorities offered Reporters Without Borders the possibility of developing its activities in China.
Reporters Without Borders thanked the Chinese government for voting for United Nations security council Resolution 1738 about protecting journalists in war zones. There was an urgent need for such an initiative by the international community. More than 130 journalists and media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the start of the war there in 2003. Adopted unanimously, this resolution reminds governments of their undertakings to protect journalists and prosecute all those who threaten them.
Reporters Without Borders also noted with satisfaction that new regulations took effect on 1 January which allow more freedom to foreign journalists working in China.
This progress and the commitments that have been made are welcomed by Reporters Without Borders as signs of change on the eve of next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing. The organisation hopes that these games will be a success, an occasion for all participating countries to share in the humanistic values of the Olympic idea.