US urged to stop oppression of Chinese journalists

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BEIJING: China said Tuesday that the United States should immediately stop the political oppression of U.S.-based Chinese media and journalists.
On May 8, the U.S. side limited visas for Chinese journalists to 90 days, requiring them to apply for visa renewal every 90 days. “As we understand, relevant Chinese journalists already applied for visa extension but none of them has received reply from the U.S. side,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a daily press briefing.
“If the United States is bent on going down the wrong path and doubles down on its mistakes, China is compelled to make necessary and legitimate reactions to firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests,” said Wang.
“We said many times that the United States caused the current situation and is responsible for it. The United States should immediately correct its mistakes and stop its political oppression on the Chinese media and journalists,” said Wang.
Wang said for a while, the United States, entrenched in the Cold War mentality and ideological bias, launched one round of political suppression after another against Chinese media.
In December 2018, it demanded relevant Chinese media organization’s U.S. office to register as “foreign agent.” Since 2018, the U.S. side has indefinitely delayed approval and even denied application of visas for 20 U.S.-based Chinese journalists. In February 2020, the U.S. side designated five Chinese media organizations in the United States as “foreign missions” and then placed a cap on the number of their staff, in effect expelling 60 Chinese journalists. In May, the U.S. side limited visas for Chinese journalists to 90 days. In June, the U.S. side again added an additional four Chinese media organizations in the United States to the list of “foreign agent.”
Wang stressed that Chinese journalists have followed journalism ethics and the principle of objectiveness, fairness, truthfulness and accurateness when conducting reporting activities across the world, including in the United States.
He said the relevant U.S. actions have severely disrupted Chinese journalists’ normal reporting activities, gravely damaged the reputation of the Chinese media and affected the normal people-to-people exchanges between the two sides.
While priding itself on freedom of the press, the United States now obstructs the Chinese media from doing their job. “Such a two-faced behavior exposed its hypocrisy in so-called freedom of the press, nothing short of double standards and hegemonic bullying,” said the spokesman.