Days ahead of elections, US designates six Chinese firms as foreign missions

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Oct 22, 2020, 10:55 AM(IST)

Mike Pompeo Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

It IS the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the November 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme

In a fresh step in its confrontation with China, US has designated operations of six China-based media companies as foreign missions. Such a designation requires the outlets to inform the US State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings. US Secretary of Stae Mike Pompeo said that the fresh step was taken to resist communist propoganda. Pompeo also said that the US is going to start a dialogue with European Union on China.

The State Department named the newly designated publications as the Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, the Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, the Beijing Review, and the Economic Daily. It brought to 15 the number of Chinese media outlets so designated this year.

It was the latest U.S. step to curb Chinese activity in the United States in the run-up to the Nov. 3 presidential election, in which President Donald Trump has made a tough approach to China a key foreign policy theme.

Pompeo said the move was part of efforts to push back against "Chinese communist propaganda efforts" in the United States.

"They are also substantially owned, or effectively controlled by a foreign government," he said.

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"We are not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States; we simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself. Not the same thing."

The editor-in-chief of Chinese state-backed Global Times newspaper said in a tweet that the U.S. had "gone too far" and that China would retaliate.

"As long as Chinese media outlets suffer actual harm, Beijing will definitely retaliate, and US media outlets' operation in HK could be included in retaliation list," Hu Xijin said.

The State Department has required Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions and announced in March it was cutting the number of journalists allowed to work at U.S. offices of major Chinese media outlets to 100 from 160.

In response, China expelled about a dozen American correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp's Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

The United States also said last month it would require senior Chinese diplomats to get State Department approval before visiting U.S. university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.

China's embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Washington designated four major Chinese media outlets as foreign embassies in June and five in February. 

(With Reuters inputs)
 

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