‘Political oppression’: China hints at payback for US limits on Chinese state media

Release time:2020-03-03 Publisher:Lanka Voice

Chinese foreign ministry says US action against five Chinese news groups will harm ties between the two countries
US secretary of states says personnel caps are response to Beijing’s expulsion of Wall Street Journal reporters
China signalled it will retaliate against the United States for cutting the number of Chinese allowed to work in US bureaus of major Chinese state-owned media.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Tuesday that the US was conducting “political oppression” on Chinese media in the US, and the move would seriously harm ties between the two countries.
The US Department of State said on Monday that the employment restrictions would apply to five organisations the administration of US President Donald Trump considers propaganda arms of the Chinese government. The restrictions are expected to reduce the number of their US-based Chinese employees to around 100 from 160 now.
The ministry said this meant that some Chinese journalists would be expelled, and China reserved the right to take further action.
Responding to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement that the limits were reciprocal to China’s expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters, Hua Chunying, the Chinese ministry’s information department chief, said the US had “kicked off the game”.
“Reciprocity? 29 US media agencies in China VS 9 Chinese ones in the US. Multiple-entry to China VS Single-entry to the US. 21 Chinese journalists denied visas since last year. Now the US kicked off the game, let’s play,” Hua said.
The State Department said the “institution of a personnel cap” applied to state news agency Xinhua, China Global Television Network (CGTN), China Radio International, China Daily and Haitian Development USA.
Under the new rules, the organisations must notify the US by Friday of which Chinese employees they will keep in the US. The employment restrictions will go into effect on March 13.
It follows Beijing’s decision last month to revoke the visas of three  Wall Street Journal reporters  after the newspaper stopped short of apologising for a headline on an opinion piece, which was not written by the reporters. The headline referred to China as the “real sick man of Asia”, an echo of the 18th and 19th centuries when China was weak and frequently subjected to foreign domination.

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