China said Tuesday it will invalidate the credentials three major news organizations in response to new restrictions the U.S. placed on Chinese media companies.
China’s Foreign Ministry said in a news release that American journalists employed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post whose press credentials are set expire at year’s end must turn in their press credentials within 10 days.
“They 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 Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry maintained the revocations were a necessary response to what it said was the abuse of Chinese media without cause.
China also said the China-based operations of five U.S. media companies must submit written information about their staffing, finances and real estate in China. The outlets that have been ordered to comply with the order are the Voice of America, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Time.
China’s moves come in response to the Trump administration’s recent classification of five Chinese media organizations as foreign missions and placed limits on the number of Chinese citizens who could work for them.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the individuals affected by the U.S. decision “were not media that were acting here freely that were part of Chinese propaganda outlets we've identified these as foreign missions under American law.”
On Tuesday’s move by China, he said “I regret China's decision today to further foreclose the world's ability to conduct the free press operations that frankly, would be really good for the Chinese people, that are really good for the Chinese people in these incredibly challenging global times where more information, more transparency, or what will save lives.”
A VOA statement joined its U.S. media counterparts in condemnation of China’s restrictions on free press.
“In common with our colleagues at The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, we remain committed to our work in China and condemn attempts to curtail it. We are committed to continuing to serve as a consistently reliable, trusted and authoritative source of news to our Chinese-speaking audiences,” VOA said.
In February, the U.S. said that five state-run Chinese news organizations — Xinhua, CGTN, China Radio and People’s Daily — would be limited to a total of 100 Chinese citizens who could work in the U.S.
In announcing the curbs on the U.S. news outlets, China said it was compelled to take the action because of the “unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the U.S.”
China also said the China-based operations of five U.S. media outlets must submit written information about their staffing, finances and real estate in China.
Pompeo said the individuals affected by the U.S. decision “were not media that were acting here freely, (but) were part of Chinese propaganda outlets. We've identified these as foreign missions under American law.”