The Trump administration is hitting Chinese media outlets in the U.S. with new restrictions as ties between the world’s two largest economies deteriorate.
The measures announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday target Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, Beijing Review and Economic Daily by requiring them to register as foreign missions, a step that includes making them identify their employees.
“They are all substantially owned or controlled by a foreign government,” Pompeo told reporters at a State Department news conference.
“We’re 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. They are not the same thing.”
As Trump, Pompeo and other officials have criticized China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the administration has also steadily increased pressure on Beijing, imposing sanctions on Chinese officials, companies and government agencies for their actions in Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
Since the beginning of the year, the administration has closed China’s consulate in Houston, indicted several Chinese citizens on espionage charges, imposed strict limits on the travel of Chinese diplomats, restricted the number of Chinese journalists allowed in the U.S. and issued warnings to academic and scientific institutions over Chinese influence in American schools.
So far this year, the U.S. has designated 15 Chinese media outlets, including state media, as foreign missions.
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