China’s reciprocal action against US media outlets ‘self-defense’, more to follow, experts warn

By Zhao Yusha and Li Sikun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/7/1 16:19:24

Photo: FM

China on Wednesday announced that the China-based branches of Associated Press, UPI, CBS and NPR must declare in written form the information about their staff, finances, operations and properties in China within 7 days, in a move which analysts said  is an equal countermeasure against the baseless US crackdown on Chinese media, and that more measures against these US media outlets may follow.

The announcement was made by Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The countermeasures China was forced to take in response to the upgraded discrimination and restrictions on Chinese media in the US are purely self-defense, said Zhao.

This is an equal countermeasure after the US launched sanctions on Chinese media outlets in the US, said Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, warning that more measures, such as visa restrictions and expulsion of journalists from those agencies may follow if the US does not stop its baseless crackdown on Chinese media. 

The US needs to calm down and stop picking small fights with China, as the friction will mount and diminish mutual trust between the two countries, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times.

China won't proactively pick fights, nor will it add fuel to the fire of frictions, but it will definitely take countermeasures if provoked by the US, he said, adding that if the US takes a step back, China will also follow.

The US State Department last week said it was listing four more media outlets - China Central Television, China News Service, People's Daily and Global Times - as foreign missions rather than media outlets in the US. The Xinhua News Agency, CGTN, China Radio International, China Daily, and Hai Tian Development USA had earlier been listed as "foreign missions" in February.

Zhang said that China's measure partly targets some US media, because those media have rancorously voiced unchecked stories about China's passing of the national security law for Hong Kong, Xinjiang-related and other issues. 

Instead of serving as a bridge between people in the two countries, those media outlets have spared no efforts to smear China, so restrictions on them are justified, said Zhang. 

Zhao on Tuesday rejected an Associated Press story that claimed China is trying to reduce Uygur births using IUDs, abortion and sterilization. 

He further elaborated that China has always adopted preferential policies toward Uygur and other ethnic minority groups. The Uygur population in Xinjiang has increased from 5.55 million in 1978 to 11.68 million in 2018, accounting for 46.8 percent of the autonomous region's population and double the number of four decades ago.

Zhao asked if what the report said is true, why has the population in Xinjiang soared in recent years? 

Newspaper headline: China’s action against US media 'self-defense'; more to follow

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