US says concerned over harassment of media covering China floods

Rescuers evacuating residents with a loader in a flooded area in Weihui, Xinxiang city, in China's Henan province on July 26.
Rescuers evacuating residents with a loader in a flooded area in Weihui, Xinxiang city, in China's Henan province on July 26.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States is "deeply concerned with the increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation of US and other foreign journalists" covering recent floods in China's Henan province, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday (July 29).

China's harsh rhetoric towards news that it perceives as critical "has provoked negative public sentiment leading to tense, in-person confrontations and harassment" of journalists, Mr Price said in a statement.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said on Tuesday that journalists from several media outlets covering recent floods in China were harassed online and by local residents, with staff from the BBC and Los Angeles Times receiving death threats.

"We call on the PRC to act as a responsible nation hoping to welcome foreign media and the world for the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games," Mr Price said.