This is an excerpt from a news article. What confuses me is the tense used in the first sentence. The simple past was used in the main clause while the present perfect in the subordinate, which, from what I learned, conflicts with general grammar rules. Is this a kind of exception because of 'emphasis on immediacy,' which is one of the features in news writing?

Korean state media Yonhap reported yesterday (March 2) that China’s national tourism administration has told travel agencies to stop selling group packages and offering free trips from Beijing to South Korea. Since July, relations between Beijing and Seoul have been icy after South Korea agreed to let the US deploy an antimissile system, a move China strongly opposes.

Quarts : China is trying to punish South Korea by keeping its tourists away

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    We don’t need to change the tense in indirect speech if what a person said is still true or relevant or has not happened yet. This often happens when someone talks about the future, or when someone uses the present simple, present continuous or present perfect in their original words.
    – V.V.
    Sep 25, 2018 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


The sentence in question is correct and the Present Perfect choice in it emphasizes, that the reported recent fact is still considered true (not undone) at present.

Another possible version (Past Perfect instead) would only focus on what was true by the moment of reporting in the past and would leave an opportunity for e. g. a later (by the moment of writing) withdrawal of the decision reported, and that would be possible to mention in the following text.


The sample sentence is fine, although I would personally prefer to see a comma after 'icy'. Verb tense consistency, or verb tense agreement, is only required within a sentence which has a single clause, or within each clause of a sentence with more than one clause. There is no problem with using different tenses in different clauses within the same sentence. However, the tenses in different clauses cannot contradict each other, e.g. you cannot say that an event happened in the past in one clause, and that the exact same event will happen in the future in the next clause.

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