This morning (1 August), Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke on the phone with his Chinese opposite number, Yang Jiechi, about the problem of restricted access to international media. In particular, Steinmeier addressed the restrictions on Internet access for journalists and the supply of up-to-date newspapers to German House.
The Federal Minister asked Yang to look into the situation and called on the Chinese Government and the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games to reconsider the restrictive measures. Steinmeier expressed his conviction that a prompt resolution of both issues was in China's interests and would make possible unhindered coverage of the Games.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stressed that his country wanted to host the Games in the spirit of the goals upheld by the Olympic Movement. Yang assured the Federal Foreign Minister that journalists would have good working conditions and also agreed to Germany's request that the competent authority once more examine the delivery of German newspapers.
In the morning, Steinmeier also contacted Erik Bettermann, the director-general of Deutsche Welle, who informed him that the station's Chinese website can now be accessed from the press centre.
Another matter discussed during the 45-minute telephone call were the joint efforts to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear programme.