The State Department is taking action against Chinese media companies in the United States in response to China’s “negative trend” in its treatment of foreign reporters in that country.
On Monday, the State Department announced that it would require four Chinese news outlets operating in the U.S to reduce the number of Chinese employees by about 40% by March 13.
The new restrictions in staff size apply to Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network, and China Daily, according to National Review. Together, the four outlets can have no more than 100 Chinese nationals working in the United States.
The four outlets were designated as foreign missions by the State Department in February. A fifth outlet was also designated as a mission but was not subject to the new limitations because it does not have Chinese nationals working in the country.
“This action is long overdue. For years, these so-called media outlets have been mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party, and these Chinese outlets are becoming more aggressive,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when he designated the outlets as foreign missions.
Additionally, the State Department announced that it would place a duration of stay on the roughly 3,000 Chinese journalists in the country. However, officials said that the journalists can request an extension for those on visas.
The State Department noted that the outlets have American citizens that they employ, so departures of Chinese staff should not impact their newsgathering.
This is the latest move in a series of restrictions both countries have imposed on foreign journalists.
After the U.S. designated the Chinese outlets as foreign missions, Beijing expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters over what it said was a “racist” title for an editorial criticizing its response to the coronavirus.
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