Expelled US journalists barred from HK, Macau

Local | 18 Mar 2020 1:35 pm

China said today it will revoke the media credentials of all American journalists at three major U.S. news organizations, in effect expelling them from the country, in response to U.S. restrictions on Chinese state-controlled media.
The foreign ministry said American citizens working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post with credentials expiring before the end of the year must surrender their press cards within 10 days.
It is the latest in a series of tit-for-tat actions by the two governments as the Trump administration takes a more confrontational stance in dealing with China than his predecessors. The countries remain enmeshed in a trade war despite a recent truce and have traded angry words over the coronavirus pandemic that first emerged in China and has spread worldwide.
"The impact of the U.S. move will not be limited to the field of media, but will create negative overall effects and new uncertainties to the relationship,'' the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper said in an editorial following the announcement.
The Chinese move comes after the Trump administration designated five Chinese media outlets as foreign missions and restricted the number of Chinese who could work for them in a de facto expulsion of about one-third of their Chinese staff.
China described its steps as "necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the U.S.''
The American journalists will likely have to leave China because their visas are tied to their press credentials. They will also be unable to work in Hong Kong and Macau, the foreign ministry said in a release posted on its website.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disputed the comparison between the U.S. and Chinese actions, telling reporters in Washington that they enjoy press freedoms that don't exist in China.
"The individuals that we identified a few weeks back were not media that were acting here freely,`` he said. "They were part of Chinese propaganda outlets. We've identified these as foreign missions under American law. These aren't apples to apples, and I regret China's decision today to further foreclose the world's ability to conduct free press operations.''
The People's Daily editorial said Chinese reporters in America have "always adhered to U.S. laws and regulations, journalistic ethics and the principles of objectivity, fairness, truth, and accuracy.''-AP


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