China on Tuesday announced that it will revoke the press credentials of American reporters working for three publications- Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post.
The move to expel foreign journalists by the Chinese government is seen as a retaliatory move for what the communist state described as “outrageous treatment” of Chinese journalists by the U.S. and the designation of five Chinese media agencies as “foreign missions,”
On March 2, the Trump administration announced that it will place manpower restriction on four state-run Chinese propaganda outlets—Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network and China Daily—forcing them to reduce their Chinese employee count in the U.S. to 100 in total, from 160.
A statement released by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the journalists working for these three major American media outlets will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.
The press credentials of the journalists from these three outlets, which was originally set to expire in 2020, will now end within ten day and they will be required to return their press passes.
.“In recent years, the U.S. government has placed unwarranted restrictions on Chinese media agencies and personnel in the U.S., purposely made things difficult for their normal reporting assignments, and subjected them to growing discrimination and politically-motivated oppression,” read a statement from a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson.
China will request written information from those three American newspapers as well as Voice of America and Time magazine about their staff, finance, operation and real estate in China. The country also said it will take “reciprocal measures” against American journalists in response to “discriminatory restrictions” China says the U.S. has imposed on Chinese journalists regarding visa, administrative review, and reporting.
Reacting to the expulsion movie, the U.S. National Security Council strongly criticized China’s latest action. “The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to expel journalists from China and Hong Kong is yet another step toward depriving the Chinese people and the world of access to true information about China,” the NSC wrote. In another tweet, the White House called on China to instead focus on helping the world combat coronavirus, which the NSC pointedly described as the “Wuhan coronavirus.”
The Wall Street Journal condemned the move as an “unprecedented attack on freedom of the press” that “comes at a time of unparalleled global crisis.”
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