China blasts U.S. for suppression of Chinese media

China blasts U.S. for suppression of Chinese media

China blasts U.S. for suppression of Chinese media

The "foreign mission" for the outlets will require them to disclose information about their employees as well as their real estate holdings, as is required of foreign embassies and consulates.

"State Department officials said the four organisations are essentially mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party and the government and should not be treated like ordinary foreign media", Associated Press reported.

David Stilwell, assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told reporters Monday the United States hopes the move will edge China toward realizing its claim of being open, accessible and supportive of journalism, but "I'm not going to hold my breath". "This foreign mission designation is an obvious step in increasing transparency of these and other [Chinese] government propaganda activities in the United States". "China-US relation is so tense that market-oriented media like the Global Times has been affected".

After these outlets were ordered to slash their numbers of Chinese employees in the United States, Beijing hit back in March by expelling USA citizens working for three major newspapers - The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

China Daily, one of the designated news outlets, paid $19 million to US newspapers from late 2016 through early this year for advertising and printing services.

This could add up to the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China as President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic that has had a serious impact across the world and accused Beijing of suppressing the details of the contagion. His press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said he was seeking to put the onus for the virus' outbreak on the Chinese government. "It's a fair thing to point out, as China tries to ridiculously rewrite history... ridiculously blame the coronavirus on American soldiers", McEnany said.

The State Department said it was reclassifying four outlets - China Central Television, the China News Service, the People's Daily and the Global Times - as foreign missions rather than media outlets in the United States, adding to five others designated in February.

Working conditions for global journalists in China have "markedly deteriorated", according to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China. The five Chinese media outlets initially reclassified as foreign missions earlier this year were required to dismiss almost half the Chinese nationals on their staff, according to AFP.

That came after the Trump administration restricted to 100 from about 160 the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work in the United States for a handful of Chinese outlets, including the People's Daily.

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