China is likely to extend current regulations on foreign reporters, granting easier access and promising greater transparency, after the Beijing Olympics, a Chinese official said here on Thursday.
Cai Wu, Minister of the State Council Information Office, told a press conference there was no document stating that when this new regulation expired on October 17 would the country return to the previous conditions.
He said the regulations had been well implemented to a good effect. Reporters would get better service as it would be implemented in a more comprehensive way.
"If practices show that it will help the international community know more about China, it is a good policy in accordance with the country's reform and opening up. Why it is necessary for us to change it?" he said.
Peter Ford, Beijing bureau chief of the Christian Science Monitor, said he was "happy China may extend the regulations". However, he hoped more efforts would be made to ensure foreign reporters can get timely information, such as introducing full-time and more professional spokespersons in government.
According to the "Regulations on reporting activities in China by foreign journalists during the Beijing Olympic Games and the preparatory period" that took effect on January 1, foreign journalists would not necessarily have to be accompanied or assisted by a Chinese official when they report in the country. They also no longer need to apply to provincial foreign affairs offices for permission to report in all Chinese provinces.