China to expel more US journalists in escalating row over media

BEIJING (Somaliguardian) -China has said it will revoke the credentials of journalists at three American newspapers after the United States imposed restrictions on Chinese nationals working at their state-owned media in the US.

Beijing is demanding that US journalists working for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post newspapers, whose credentials are due to expire before the end of 2020, hand back their press cards within 10 days, according to a statement.

It was not immediately clear how many journalists would be affected.

Beijing on Tuesday said the journalists would also not be allowed to continue working in the semi-autonomous territories of Hong Kong or Macau.

The Chinese move follows the US decision to designate five Chinese media outlets as foreign missions, and restricted the number of Chinese nationals that could work for them.

Beijing said the steps were necessary and reciprocal countermeasures in response to what it called unreasonable oppression of Chinese media in the United States.

“The US expulsion of Chinese journalists was an upgraded evidence of political oppression,” tweeted Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday. “For too long, the Chinese journalists have been unfairly treated under the discriminatory policies of the US.”

Amnesty International said the move was likely to further stifle access to information at a crucial time in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This latest escalation of the tit-for-tat row between Beijing and Washington threatens to severely undercut the flow of accurate and independent information from China,” said Joshua Rosenzweig, the head of Amnesty’s China team. “At a time when the world needs to work together to combat the devastation wrought by the virus, the banishment of these journalists could potentially have grim public health consequences.”


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