US declares four more Chinese media organisations as foreign diplomatic missions

DHARAMSALA, 23 June: The US has designated four more Chinese media organisations operating under the Chinese Communist regime’s control and influence as foreign diplomatic missions.

China Central Television, China News Service, People’s Daily and the Global Times have all been designated as foreign diplomatic missions. 

The Trump administration has made it required of them to report details of their US staffing and what their US real estate holdings are to the State Department, the CNN reported citing David Stilwell, the US State Department’s assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific affairs.

“These entities are not independent news organizations; they are effectively controlled by the Chinese Communist Party … also known as propaganda outlets,” Stilwell was quoted as saying in the report.

The move, Stilwell has said aims “to increase transparency on the control of information, not just among their state propaganda outlets but also amongst legitimate journalists and news gatherings in China.” 

It marks the second instance of the US declaring the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda outlets as foreign entities, which binds them to submit to the rules and regulations that cover diplomatic missions in the US.

Earlier in February, the US also designated five major Chinese media companies; Xinhua, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily and People’s Daily as extensions of Beijing’s government and made it a prerequisite of them to comply with rules governing foreign embassies and consulates. The US also capped the number of Chinese journalists working for those outlets in the US.

In retaliation, China has expelled journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

Though Beijing is likely to retaliate in the same vein, the US State Department’s assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific affairs has remarked that “The Chinese government does what it does. You can’t say that they’re doing it specifically because we’re doing to them. It’s simply an excuse.”

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