Xinhua News Agency (Photo source: AFP)
The All-China Journalists Association on Friday urged the US to stop discriminatory restrictions on Chinese media agencies in the country and outrageous interference with their normal operations, in response to Washington's decision to cap Chinese media employee numbers in the US.
"We urged the US to immediately stop its discriminatory restrictions on Chinese media agencies in the country. We requested the US to lift its restrictions on the number of Chinese journalists and visa barriers for Chinese reporters stationed in the US," the association said in a statement published on its website.
The statement came two days after spokespersons of the Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US move as discriminatory, prejudicial and a rejection of Chinese media, and lodged stern representations with the US embassy, condemning US hypocrisy and double standards on "freedom of press" and its hegemonic bullying.
Last month, the US started to treat five Chinese media outlets operating in the US the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and US properties with the US State Department.
In the latest move, US State Department officials said Monday that a personnel cap is being imposed on these Chinese media companies, forcing them to limit the number of Chinese employees in the US to 100 from 160.
Calling these actions "political oppression driven by its Cold War mentality and ideological bias," the association said they have seriously violated the normal and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese journalists overseas, seriously damaged the reputation of Chinese media, and seriously interfered with their normal operations.
The media is an important channel for people of all countries to enhance communication and understanding. For a long time, Chinese media organizations and journalists stationed in the US have strictly complied with the laws and regulations of the US, and carried out news reports in an objective, fair, true and accurate manner. They have played a positive role in enhancing communication and understanding between Chinese and Americans, promoting mutual trust, exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various fields, the association said.
China has respected and ensured that the media of other countries carry out normal reporting activities in China in accordance with the law and has never imposed any restrictions on the number of US media organizations and personnel in China. The so-called "imbalance" claimed by the US side is an "outright lie," the association stressed.
The association strongly condemned and firmly opposed the US move and expressed grave concern about the adverse consequences caused by the move. The association said it will continue to facilitate foreign media personnel to carry out their normal work in China in accordance with the law and promote international media exchanges and cooperation.
Chinese experts have said that the US' latest move serves as a "retaliation" for China revoking the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal journalists over a racist headline, and also as one of its cards to contain China.
They believe that the US move is a nasty attempt by some US officials to vent anti-China sentiment at Chinese journalists, and China may not resort to equivalent countermeasures but will definitely take action against US journalists in China if they violate Chinese laws and professional ethics.