'Foreign reporters in China still face problems despite rule change'

Foreign journalists working in China face continued harassment despite new reporting rules brought in for the Olympic Games, a report by the Beijing-based Foreign Correspondents Club of China said Tuesday. China relaxed restrictions on foreign journalists at the beginning of the year, exempting them from having to apply for permission to travel and conduct interviews. The change was part of the country's pledge to increase media freedom _ a promise that helped Beijing win the honor of hosting the 2008 Olympics. But the FCCC said it received more than 180 reports of interference in journalists' work in 2007, including beatings and intimidation by local plainclothes thugs in Beijing and other places such as central Hubei province.