WASHINGTON - The United States has designated four more Chinese state-run outlets as “foreign missions,” a move that U.S. officials said will “not prevent them from reporting legitimate news” but to “increase transparency” relating to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and what Washington called Beijing government’s “propaganda activities” in the U.S.
This comes as CCP is said to assert “even more direct control” over China’s state-controlled outlets.
On Monday, the State Department announced the U.S. operations of China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily and the Global Times are designated as foreign missions.
The new designation follows the February 18 designations of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation and Hai Tian Development USA.
Those entities are required to report on personnel rosters and real estate holdings on U.S. soil, similar to certain administrative requirements that are applied to all foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S.
China has not immediately responded to the additional designation.
“This is housekeeping. We're just cleaning up some broken glass and stuff that we hadn't paid a lot of attention to in the past,” David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said in a telephone briefing.
Stilwell said he did not know the number of Chinese personnel who would be affected under Monday’s designation.
“What this is going to identify is that these folks — we've allowed them to come into the country as journalists — now acknowledging that they are not,” he said.
A State Department statement said the CCP has reorganized China’s state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them over the past decade.