A spokesperson for China's Xinhua News Agency issued a statement on Wednesday to protest Washington's demand that the agency cut the number of its United States-based journalists within a limited time.
The US move, on the pretext of so-called reciprocity, was groundless and outright arbitrary, fully exposing the hypocrisy of the "freedom of the press" touted by the US, the Xinhua spokesperson said.
Xinhua is always committed to conducting news reporting based on the principle of objectivity, fairness, truthfulness and accuracy, and it maintains a good international reputation, the spokesperson said.
Xinhua's journalists in the US have for a long time strictly followed the country's laws and regulations, abiding by journalists' code of professional conduct, and have played an active part in enhancing understanding and communication between the peoples of China and the US and the people-to-people exchanges between the two nations, the spokesperson added.
The US, disregarding facts, has recently designated Xinhua and other Chinese media outlets' US-based offices as "foreign missions" and has forced the de facto expulsion of Chinese journalists based in the US, the spokesperson said.
What the US has done is a full display of its Cold War mentality and political prejudice, and it not only has a serious impact on Xinhua's news reporting in the US but also causes serious damage to Xinhua's image, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson demanded that the US immediately correct its wrongdoing and stop the obstruction and restrictions imposed on Xinhua's US offices to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of those journalists in news reporting.