On February 28, United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman met with several American and other foreign journalists based in China, who, while reporting on calls for demonstrations in downtown Beijing on February 27, had their equipment seized, were illegally detained, harassed, and in at least one case, severely beaten.
"This type of harassment and intimidation is unacceptable and deeply disturbing," Ambassador Huntsman said in a statement following his meeting with the journalists. "I am disappointed that the Chinese public security authorities could not protect the safety and property of foreign journalists doing their jobs. I call on the Chinese Government to hold the perpetrators accountable for harassing and assaulting innocent individuals and ask that they respect the rights of foreign journalists to report in China."
The United States is deeply concerned that the Chinese authorities could not protect the personal safety and property of foreign journalists doing their jobs. The United States urges China to respect internationally recognized conventions that guarantee freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and call for the rights of foreign journalists to report in China to be respected and protected. The United States continues to urge China to respect the universal right to freedom of expression and to freedom of association and assembly.