“In recent years, the United States Government has imposed unjustified restrictions against the Chinese media and its personnel in the United States, making their job of reporting more difficult and subjecting them to increasing discrimination and politically motivated oppression,” said the Ministry of Chinese foreign in a statement.
Chinese authorities recalled that in December 2018 Washington ordered some Chinese media register as “foreign agents” and in February 2020, they designated five as “foreign missions” limiting the number of Chinese citizens who could work in them, which meant “the expulsion of Chinese journalists from the United States.”
Specifically, Beijing will revoke the press credentials that expire in 2020 for American journalists employed by newspapers. Wall Street Journal, The New york Times, The Washington Post, in the magazine Time and in the agency Voice of america. This will significantly reduce the number of media outlets in China. In addition, he has asked them to report in writing on “your staff, your finances, your operations and your properties” in the country.
This implies the immediate expulsion of the North American informants who had pending the renewal of their visas.
“Third, in response to the discriminatory restrictions that the United States has imposed on Chinese journalists in relation to visas and administrative reviews, China will take reciprocal measures against American journalists,” added the Foreign Ministry.
Beijing pointed out that these are “reciprocal countermeasures” and, therefore, “legitimate and justified” to respond to the “incomprehensible oppression that the Chinese media is experiencing in the United States.”
The head of America’s diplomacy, Mike Pompeo, urged China on Tuesday to reconsider this decision, indicating that the Asian country benefits from free media.
“This is regrettable,” the US secretary of state said in statements to the press. “I hope they reconsider,” added Pompeo, regretting what he considered a decision that restricts free press activities that “They would be really good for the Chinese people in these global times of incredible challenges, where more information, more transparency, is what will save lives.”