Four U.S. media organizations have been required to declare to China, in written form, information including their staff, finances, operations, and real estate owned by them in China within seven days, starting from Wednesday.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, the four U.S. organizations are the Associated Press, United Press International, the Columbia Broadcasting System, and National Public Radio.
Zhao made the announcement at a daily press briefing on Wednesday in response to a U.S. announcement on June 22 that China Central Television, the People's Daily, the Global Times, and China News Service had been designated as foreign missions in the United States.
"The above-mentioned measures by China are entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures in response to the unreasonable oppression conducted by the United States to these Chinese media organizations' branches in the United States," said Zhao, stressing that China's measures are an entirely justifiable defense.
Zhao noted that, in recent years, the U.S. government has placed unwarranted restrictions on Chinese media agencies and personnel in the United States, purposely made things difficult for their normal reporting assignments, and subjected them to growing discrimination and politically-motivated oppression.
On Feb. 18, 2020, the United States designated five Chinese media agencies, namely, Xinhua News Agency, China Daily Distribution Corporation, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, and the distributor for People's Daily in the United States -- Hai Tian Development USA, as foreign missions. In reciprocity, China demanded on March 18 that the China-based branches of Voice of America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, and the Washington Post declare in written form the afore-mentioned information.
"What the United States has done is driven by a Cold-War mentality and ideological bias. It has seriously tarnished the reputation and image of Chinese media organizations, seriously affected their normal operations in the United States, and seriously disrupted people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries," said Zhao.
"It has therefore exposed the hypocrisy of this self-styled advocate of press freedom. China urges the United States to immediately change course, undo the damage, and stop its political oppression and arbitrary restrictions on Chinese media organizations," Zhao added.