Monday, January 25, 2021
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China asks US media to submit information about their work

Beijing has asked four US media outlets to submit information about their operations in China as a tit-for-tat media row between the two countries escalated.

On Wednesday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said his government had asked Associated Press, CBS, National Public Radio and the United Press International news agency to submit information about their work in China in writing within seven days.

Earlier on Wednesday, the editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times newspaper said China would announce reciprocal curbs on US media outlets.

Foreign media in China have come under more pressure as press freedoms in the country appear to shrink. In the last year, more than a dozen journalists, many of them from the US, have been expelled from the country.

China has said such expulsions are in response to moves by the US but critics say that officials have used Washington’s moves as a way to get rid of reporters covering sensitive topics such as internment camps in Xinjiang or the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

The US said in June it would start treating an additional four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies, following a similar move earlier in the year. In May, Washington began limiting visas for Chinese journalists to a renewable 90-day period after the expulsion of at least 13 American journalists from three US papers.

The expulsion of the journalists from the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal came after a US decision in March to treat five Chinese state media outlets as foreign missions.

Chinese authorities previously expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters from its Beijing bureau over what China said was a racist column published in a separate editorial section.

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