Chinese Foreign Ministry urges US to stop political pressure on Chinese media

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged China’s central authorities not to interfere in the work of American journalists in Hong Kong.

Chinese Foreign Ministry urges US to stop political pressure on Chinese media

The United States should stop exerting political pressure on Chinese journalists in US territory and also stop interfering in China’s internal affairs. Zhao Lijiang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a briefing on Monday, commenting on US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s statement that Chinese authorities allegedly threaten to obstruct American journalists’ work in Hong Kong.

“For some time, the U.S. has maintained a Cold War mentality, increasing pressure on the Chinese media”, –  he said. The diplomat said the U.S. had previously “forced Chinese media to register as foreign missions, reduced the number of Chinese journalists working in the U.S. by 60 [the number of Chinese journalists working in the U.S.], as well as reduced the duration of visas [for Chinese journalists] to 90 days.

According to him, this has had a serious impact on Chinese media activities in the United States, and “has had an impact on intercultural and interpersonal exchange between the two countries.”

“We condemn such actions. The U.S. is responsible for this situation, should correct its mistakes and stop exerting political pressure on Chinese journalists”, –  said a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry. – “If the United States continues on the wrong path, China will have to retaliate. As we stated earlier, Hong Kong’s affairs are China’s internal affairs, and no foreign country has the right to interfere in them”, –  he concluded.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo called on China’s central authorities not to interfere in the work of American journalists in Hong Kong’s special administrative region of China. In the statement disseminated by the State Department’s press service it was said that the Chinese government allegedly “threatens to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong”, but about what exactly Beijing’s actions it was not specified.

On May 8, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported on tougher visa regime for Chinese journalists coming to work in the United States – the U.S. authorities will issue them non-immigrant category I visas only for up to 90 days, but with the possibility of extension. The Chinese Foreign Ministry strongly protested to the United States for increasing pressure on Chinese media. On March 17, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced the mass withdrawal of accreditation from journalists of the American newspapers The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, whose representatives were obliged to hand over their press cards. This measure was taken in response to the State Department, which decided to reduce the number of Chinese citizens working in the Chinese state-owned media on American territory from 160 to 100.

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