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Global Times

Cap on Chinese media 'nasty'

Global Times

By Zhang Hui and Xu Keyue Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/4 0:03:40 Last Updated: 2020/3/4 1:03:07

US move shows 'lack of confidence' in its system

China will play the US' "reciprocity" game and reserve the right to take further action to respond to Washington's decision to cap Chinese media employee numbers in the US, Chinese officials said Tuesday, calling the latter's move a political oppression driven by its Cold War mentality and ideological bias.

Analysts believe that the US move is a nasty attempt by some US officials to vent anti-China sentiment at Chinese journalists and China may not resort to equivalent countermeasures, but will definitely take action against US journalists in China if they violate Chinese laws and professional ethics.

What the US claims about reciprocity in capping the number of Chinese media employees in the US is actually discrimination, prejudice and rejection of Chinese media, and China will play along since the US broke the rules of the game in the first place, Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at Tuesday's press briefing.

Restricting the number of Chinese media employees in the US actually means expulsing 60 Chinese journalists, Zhao said.

US State Department officials said Monday that a personnel cap is being imposed on four Chinese media companies - China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, China Global Television Network and Xinhua - forcing them to limit the number of their Chinese employees in the US to 100 in total, from 160.

And the US media and officials claimed that the restrictions on Chinese media employees constitute "upholding 'reciprocity' in US-China relations.

Echoing Zhao's comments, Hua Chunying, Director-General of the Information Department of the ministry tweeted earlier that "Reciprocity? 29 US media agencies in China VS 9 Chinese ones in the US. Multiple-entry to China VS single-entry to the US. 21 Chinese journalists denied visas since last year. Now the US kicked off the game. Let's play." She also lodged stern representations with the US embassy over Washington's decision, condemning the US hypocrisy and double standard on "freedom of press" and its hegemonic bullying.

Chinese experts said that the US' latest move serves as a "retaliation" for China revoking the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal journalists over a racist headline, and also as one of its cards to contain China.

The US is politicizing the normal activities of the Chinese media in the US, which shows that the US is politicizing many non-political issues with regard to China affairs, with the purpose of using the "whole-of-government" method to tackle the so-called "China threat," Diao Damin, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China, said.

The US' latest move came after the US last month started to treat the four mentioned Chinese media outlets and Hai Tian Development USA, Inc with US operations the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and US properties with the US State Department.

Reducing the number of Chinese journalists in the US is not conducive to the Chinese and American people getting to know each other in a timely and accurate way, leading to increased miscalculations between the two countries which will further complicate China-US relations, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, said.

The US attempt to wage a media war against China reflects the fact that it is becoming less and less confident in its system as it is no longer tolerant of other countries' normal activities in the US, Li said.

As for whether China will take similar measures against US media employees in China, Li said that China will take actions against them if they actually violate Chinese laws and professional ethics, but will not blindly take actions out of "retaliation" like the US side.

China revoked the press credentials of three Beijing-based journalists from the Wall Street Journal after the newspaper published an article with a "racist headline," which called China the "sick man of Asia," and refused to apologize.

Instead of retaliation, China will urge US media outlets to report more truthfully on China-related incidents, as China always adopts an open and inclusive attitude, Zhang Yiwu, a cultural expert from Peking University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

At Monday's press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian stressed that China always welcomes foreign media to report about the country in a comprehensive and objective way, and has been providing support and conveniences for international journalists to report about China in accordance with international practices and laws.

What happened to journalists from the Wall Street Journal was extremely rare, and the organization should draw lessons from it, Zhao said, noting that for the more than 600 foreign reporters in China, there is no need to worry as long as they abide by Chinese laws and report in accordance with regulations.

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