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State Department Moves To Hamper Freedom of Press against Chinese Media in U.S.

Feb. 19, 2020 (EIRNS)—The Department of State has utilized the Foreign Missions Act to muzzle the Chinese media covering news in the United States. They have now declared that Xinhua, CGTN, China Daily, China Radio International and People’s Daily must follow regulations meant for Foreign Missions. While most of these entities have been obliged to register under the Justice Department’s Foreign Agents Registration Act, which in itself places restrictions and mandates close monitoring of the entities’ activities, this is the State Department—i.e., Mike Pompeo—ratcheting up the pressure further. People working for these entities, even American citizens, must now submit their information to the State Department. And people coming or going from their posts are also subject to notification as is the case with Embassy personnel. Will this also restrict Chinese journalists from covering events, or attending briefings at the White House or the State Department?  A State Department official, speaking on background, said that journalists would not be restricted, but suspicions still remain that that may very well be the case.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang criticized the measure at his regular briefing today, stating, “We reserve the right to respond further to this matter.” And while it may not have been a response to these actions, the Foreign Ministry did announce that it was pulling the press credentials from the three Wall Street Journal journalists in Beijing to protest the Feb. 3 Journal op-ed by Walter Russell Mead, which criticized China’s response to COVID-19, and claimed the Chinese economy was about to explode. The Foreign Ministry asked Wall Street Journal to apologize for publishing Mead’s slander and to reprimand the individuals responsible for the article. As that didn’t happen, the Foreign Ministry is penalizing Wall Street Journal journalists in Beijing.

That “whited sepulcher” (as Matthew labels hypocrites) Mike Pompeo was quick to react with pompous outrage in a statement, saying,

“The United States condemns China’s expulsion of three Wall Street Journal foreign correspondents. Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions. The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech. The United States hopes that the Chinese people will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech that Americans enjoy.”

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