At least 13 US journalist face departure from China

Local | 18 Mar 2020 7:13 pm

At least 13 American journalists stand to be expelled from China in retaliation for a new visa limit imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese state-owned media operating in the U.S.
The Chinese government announced Wednesday that Americans working at three major U.S. newspapers would have to surrender their press cards within 10 days. They will all but certainly have to leave the country, as their visas are tied to their media credentials.
The number of affected journalists at the papers _ The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post _ is at least 13 and could be higher depending on how broadly the group is defined, said the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China, or FCCC.
It would be by far the largest expulsion of foreign journalists from China in recent memory.
``There are no winners in the use of journalists as diplomatic pawns by the world's two preeminent economic powers,'' the FCCC said in a statement.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang described the move as ``necessary countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the U.S.``
He warned that ``if the United States insists on walking farther down the wrong path, China will be forced to take further countermeasures.``
The U.S. announced earlier this month that five of China's state-controlled media outlets would be restricted to 100 visas, the de facto expelling of about 60 journalists. It cited increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment and intimidation of American and other foreign journalists working in China.
The outlets employ about 160 Chinese citizens in the U.S. and include the official Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network, the overseas arm of state broadcaster CCTV.
Americans at the three newspapers whose credentials expire this year will have to give up their press cards. They will also be barred from working in the semi-autonomous Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau, the foreign ministry said.
Until Wednesday's announcement, China had expelled nine foreign journalists since 2013, the FCCC said.-AP


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