China will effectively expel a group of US journalists and prohibit them from relocating to work in Hong Kong or Macau as a tit-for-tat over media access between the two countries expands.
China’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said some reporters at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post must hand in their media cards within 10 days in what it said was a response to US caps on Chinese media imposed early this month.
In addition, China asked five US media outlets to submit detailed personnel and asset information to the government, a decision that mirrored a US move to designate five Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions.” This requirement applies to Voice of America, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Time.
China’s foreign ministry said its actions are “entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the US,” noting what it said are “discriminatory restrictions” on Chinese journalists’ visa processing, administrative review and reporting activities.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo dismissed the moves and the comparison to the US decision in a news conference Tuesday with reporters in Washington, saying he hopes Beijing will reconsider.
“These aren’t apples to apples in any respect and I regret China’s decision today to further foreclose the world’s ability to conduct the free press operations which, frankly, would be really good for the Chinese people, really good for the Chinese people in these incredibly challenging global times where more information, more transparency are what will save lives,” Pompeo said.