China denies entry to foreign journalists in Tibet, report
Every foreign journalist who applied to report in the Tibet Autonomous Region in 2022 was denied by China's government, according to a recent survey by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.
China-Every foreign journalist who applied to report in the Tibet Autonomous Region in 2022 was denied by China's government, according to a recent survey by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.
The survey included over 100 of its members from 30 countries and regions and found that even those who were able to visit other Tibetan areas still faced restrictions. Of the three foreign journalists who applied for permission to enter the TAR last year, all three were rejected.
The TAR is the only region that requires foreigners, including foreign media, to have special permission to enter.
The club's report, "Zero Covid, Many Controls: Covering China in 2022," noted that "Access to the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) remains officially restricted for foreign journalists," and that "Reporters must apply to the government for special permission or join a press tour organized by China's State Council or Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
The TAR spans roughly half of Tibet, a country in Asia's Himalayan region that China has occupied for over 60 years.
The report from the Foreign Correspondents’ Club also points to restrictions on media access to Tibetan areas outside the TAR, even though technically these are open to foreigners, including media.
The report quotes a journalist from a Western news outlet whom police prevented from reporting in a Tibetan area in Sichuan province:
“I was stopped and detained by police and local officials in a Tibetan area of Sichuan. Officials claimed because of Covid controls, foreigners were not being allowed in, even though I had three negative Covid tests in the past three days. They tried to force me onto a plane to Chengdu, but when the plane was canceled, they refused to let me go and drove me straight to Chengdu instead, a nearly 11 hour drive.”
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China surveyed over 100 members representing news organizations from 30 countries and regions and found that every foreign journalist who applied for permission to enter Tibet last year was rejected.
The TAR, which spans half of Tibet, is the only region that China requires foreigners to have special permission to enter.
The Chinese government has routinely denied entry to Tibet to foreign journalists, diplomats, and tourists.
In response, the US passed a law in 2018, called the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, pressuring China to give US citizens the same level of access to Tibet that Chinese citizens have to the US.