U.S. imposes cap on Chinese journalists

Thursday, 05 Mar, 2020

"And, of course, unlike US -based media organizations, these PRC state entities are not, in fact, independent news organizations".

The FCCC report mentioned the expelled Wall Street Journal reporters and noted they were not the only examples of China "using visas as weapons against the foreign press".

Another reporter with the paper had to leave the country a year ago after China declined to renew his visa.

"So, this is not linked to any one particular incident".

The U.S. side has been escalating the oppression against Chinese journalists from listing the Chinese media as "foreign agents" to designating them as "foreign missions" and now to capping the number of their Chinese employees, which means de-facto "expulsion" in a limited time, Zhao said.

"Yesterday afternoon, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, together with the National Health Commission, held a video exchange meeting with experts on the new corona pneumonia epidemic in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Turkmenistan, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Secretariat", Zhao Lijian said during his regular briefing held here. -China relationship, we seek to establish a long-overdue level playing field.

China's expulsion of the Wall Street Journal employees - for what Chinese authorities called an offensive op-ed headline - came a day after the Trump administration's February 18 designation of all four of the Chinese media companies as "foreign missions of the People's Republic of China", a category that regards them as extensions of the Beijing government.

While US officials were aware of the ambiguous missions of such outlets, the view was that openness would encourage more transparency from China.

From Friday next week, the four outlets will be allowed to employ a combined total of 100 Chinese citizens in the US, down about 40 percent from now, two US Department of State officials told reporters on Monday on condition of anonymity. China revoked three WSJ reporters' press credentials as a punishment for that outlet's publication of an insulting headline and its refusal to apologize, which is a specific case. "Now, to put that into perspective, even the Soviet Union used expulsions sparingly at the height of the Cold War, as contrasted with Beijing today", the official said. China won't be intimidated and Washington should not think it has more leverage in this game than Beijing. They also cited the increased controls over media under President Xi Jinping as justification, and acknowledged the already hard working conditions for foreign correspondents based in China. Foreign reporters who violate professional ethics should be subject to punishment regardless of Washington's reaction.

"For years, the federal government of the People's Republic of China has enforced progressively rough security, harassment, and also scare tactics versus American and also various other global reporters running in China", UNITED STATE Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in a declaration introducing the staffing reduces to Chinese media organizations. China reserves the right to take further measures in response, he said. They were Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both of whom are USA citizens; and reporter Philip Wen, who is Australian. "Their status in the country isn't determined by the Department of State".

"According to information from diplomatic channels, a total of 62 countries and seven global organizations have committed to donating epidemic prevention and control materials to China, and donations from 46 countries and six organizations have already arrived in China", Zhao said at a press briefing, adding that 12 countries and two worldwide organizations have provided or announced they will provide food, cash and other forms of support to China.