China announced that it will revoke the media credentials of all American journalists at three major US news organizations, in effect expelling them from the country, in response to new US restrictions on Chinese state-controlled media. The foreign ministry said early Wednesday that American citizens working for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post with credentials expiring before the end of the year must surrender their press cards within 10 days, reports the AP. The move comes after the Trump administration designated five Chinese media outlets—include the official Xinhua News Agency—as foreign missions and restricted the number of Chinese who could work for them in a de facto expulsion of about one-third of their Chinese staff.
China described its steps as “necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the US." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disputed the comparison between the US and Chinese actions, telling reporters in Washington that they enjoy press freedoms that don't exist in China. "The individuals that we identified a few weeks back were not media that were acting here freely," he said. "They were part of Chinese propaganda outlets. We've identified these as foreign missions under American law. These aren’t apples to apples, and I regret China’s decision today to further foreclose the world’s ability to conduct free press operations."
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