China demands info from 4 media companies in response to US

Clay Curtis
July 3, 2020

China's Foreign Ministry has ordered USA news organizations to submit information about their operations inside the country within seven days, in what it says is a self-defense move against Washington's restrictions on its media.

China retaliated by ordering more than a dozen reporters from The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to hand in their press credentials, forcing them to leave the country because their visas were tied to their work status.

China has announced its retaliatory measures against Washington's new restrictions on Beijing's state media by demanding four American media outlets provide sensitive company information.

CBS and National Public Radio (NPR) have seven days to file declarations regarding their staff, financial operations, real estate ownership and various other operations, according to Chinese Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian Wednesday.

"The above-mentioned measures by China are completely necessary countermeasures and are completely legitimate defenses compelled by unreasonable suppression of the US said on Chinese media agencies in the United States", Zhao said.

In May, the United States limited visas for Chinese reporters to a 90-day period with the option for extension.

The move comes after United States recently accused four more Chinese media organizations - in addition to the five in February - of being "beholden to the Chinese Communist Party".

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Mr Zhao on Wednesday said the U.S. restrictions on Chinese media "exposed the hypocrisy of the so-called press freedom touted by the US".

The U.S. State Department had already listed five other Chinese media outlets as "foreign embassies".

Zhao pointed to the Department of State's designation of nine Chinese media outlets as "foreign missions", alleging that they are mouthpieces for Beijing in late June, as justification for the announcement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met senior Chinese official Yang Jiechi in Hawaii last month, with little apparent effect on soaring bilateral tensions.

In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry has now said it will require four U.S. news agencies to do the same.

"The actions by the USA are based on a Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, which have gravely damaged the reputation of the Chinese media, Chinese journalists' normal reporting activities and normal people-to-people exchanges between the two sides", he said.

Meanwhile, China has accused the Trump administration of politicising the pandemic to deflect from its own handling of the crisis.

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