(TibetanReview.net, Oct22’20) – In a further clampdown on Chinese intelligence gathering and propaganda efforts in the guise of and in coextension with news gathering and dissemination activities, the United States has on Oct 21 labelled six more Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions,” bringing the total thus far to 15.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement the agency was slapping the designation on Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, Beijing Review and Economic Daily, accusing the state-owned outlets of toeing the Chinese Communist Party line.
The designations do not impact the outlets’ ability to publish content in the US, but they do mandate the publications notify the State Department about its current personnel in the country, including basic information about the employees and the company’s property holdings, noted thehill.com Oct 21.
Ortagus has clarified, “The decision to designate these entities does not place any restrictions on what these organizations may publish in the United States. It simply recognizes them for what they are — PRC-controlled propaganda outlets.”
“Our goal is to protect the freedom of press in the United States, and ensure the American people know whether their news is coming from the free press or from a malign foreign government. Transparency isn’t threatening to those who value truth.”
The State Department had previously labeled several Chinese outlets as foreign missions, slapping the designation on five publications in February and four more in June.
The State Department’s designations amount to next to nothing compared to the harshness of Beijing’s response to the June designations: The Latter revoked accreditation for US correspondents with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, whose credentials expire by the end of 2020.
Still, the report noted that the latest US salvo had come amid spiking tensions between the two countries over trade, the coronavirus pandemic, relations with Taiwan and Tibet, human rights violations in Hong Kong and against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, and efforts from Beijing to influence the 2020 presidential election.