China responded to criticism of its record on media freedom on Tuesday by reiterating that foreign journalists would be welcome to cover next year's Beijing Olympics "in a fair and objective way". Rights group Reporters Without Borders last week sent an open letter to International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge detailing what they described as abuse of journalists and accusing him of allowing it to happen by remaining silent.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference that the Paris-based group had "consistently attacked China". "We have emphasized that with the upcoming Olympics, the Chinese government and people sincerely welcome reporters from around the world to come to China and cover the Games in a fair and objective way," Qin added. [Full Text]
[Image: A security guard tries to cover a "forced demolition notice" outside an apartment block being demolished near the "Bird's Nest" Olympic Stadium in Beijing, by Claro Cortes IV, from Reuters.]