US puts new limits on journalists from China state-run media

March 2, 2020 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is capping the number of journalists from five Chinese state-run media outlets who can work in the United States.

A State Department announcement Monday cited China’s increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment and intimidation of American and other foreign journalists in China for an action that comes amid efforts by foreign governments to influence U.S. politics through state media.

It said the U.S. was not planning to place any restrictions on the content of the media but that the administration was seeking “reciprocity” and a “level playing field,” in an apparent reference to the Chinese restrictions on visas for journalists from American outlets.

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A total of 100 journalists from the five outlets, which include the Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network, will be issued visas to work in the United States, the State Department said. Those organizations now employ about 160 Chinese citizens in the U.S.

Chinese citizens working for other media organizations in the United States are unaffected by the cap, the State Department said.

There are about 75 Americans and other foreigners authorized to work for U.S. news outlets inside China, according to the White House.

Last month, the administration designated Xinhua, CGTN and three others as foreign missions, requiring the agencies to register their properties and employees in the U.S. The State Department said that was in recognition of the fact that that “they are effectively controlled” by the Chinese government.

The Trump administration also plans to set time limits on the visas issued to Chinese journalists, as China does now for journalists working for U.S. outlets, officials said.