China has held talks with the U.S. in an attempt to urge Washington not to require some Chinese state media outlets to register as foreign agents, China's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing "communicated" with the U.S. about the issue and added it was opposed to "politicizing" the media.

The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Tuesday the U.S. Justice Department has demanded that China's Xinhua news agency and its English language television station, CGTN, register as foreign agents.

The demand, also reported by Bloomberg News, came amid increasing scrutiny of foreign media groups that could influence U.S. public opinion.

Registering as a foreign agent could limit the news outlets' access in Washington. It would put them in the same legal category as lobbyists who work for overseas entities and could cause them to lose their congressional media credentials.

Most news outlets in China are state-run and heavily controlled. Beijing maintains strict limits on the presence of foreign media and its ability to cover events and travel in the country.

The issue could further escalate tensions between the two countries, which are engaged in an increasingly intense trade war.