China ordered more American news outlets to declare their finances and staff, in the latest tit-for-tat exchange with the U.S. over media access to each other’s countries.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday that China was asking four organizations including the Associated Press and National Public Radio to disclose staffing, finances and real estate holdings within seven days. The move, which also affected CBS and United Press International, follows similar action in March against Voice of America and Time Magazine.
“China’s measures are entirely necessary and reciprocal to unwarranted actions against Chinese media operating in the U.S.,” Zhao told a regular news briefing in Beijing. “China urges the U.S. to immediately reverse course and correct its mistakes.”
The press have been increasingly swept up in diplomatic disputes between the U.S. and China since February, when Beijing revoked the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters over an op-ed calling the country the “real sick man of Asia.” The Trump administration has since designated Chinese media outlets operating in the U.S. as “foreign missions,” imposing constraints on their ability to acquire visas and property.
The most recent action by the U.S. on June 22 affected state broadcaster China Central Television and the Communist Party’s People’s Daily and Global Times newspapers. Meanwhile, Beijing has expelled 18 journalists from the Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post this year, according to the Foreign Correspondents Club of China.
— With assistance by Lucille Liu, and James Mayger
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