On Monday, China called on the United States saying to immediately “correct its mistake.” The “mistake” referred to the decision that the US took to tighten visa terms for Chinese journalists. Last week, the US issued some new rules restricting visas for Chinese reporters to a 90-day period, with the option for extension, that takes effect on Monday.
These kinds of visas are typically open-ended and do not need to be extended, unless the employee moves to a different company or medium. Zhao Lijian, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said during a daily briefing that China deplored and rejected the US decision. Zhao called for an escalation of suppression against Chinese media.
“We are resolutely opposed and strongly dissatisfied with this,” Zhao said.
“We require the US to immediately correct its mistake, or China will have no choice but to take countermeasures.” Both the states have been protesting against each other’s action involving journalists in recent months. In February, the US decided to treat five Chinese state-run media entities with US operations as foreign embassies. After the announcement, China next month expelled American journalist from three US newspapers.
A journal was published calling China the “real sick man of Asia” and immediately after China expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters – two Americans and an Australian. “For a period of time, the US has stuck to a Cold War mentality and ideological bias, and it has continuously escalated its suppression of Chinese media,” Zhao said.
“Now they’re using visas to take discriminatory limitations, severely disrupting the Chinese media’s ability to report normally in the U.S., severely disrupting people-to-people relations between our two countries,” he added.