The Chinese side has prepared for a “worst-case scenario” in which all Chinese journalists will have to leave the United States. In this case, Beijing will take retaliatory measures, including against American journalists based in Hong Kong, said Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Global Times newspaper.
“Given that the US side did not extend the visa to Chinese journalists, the Chinese side prepared for the worst-case scenario in which all Chinese journalists would have to leave the US. In this case, the Chinese side will strike back, including at American journalists based in Hong Kong,” the chief editor of the Global Times wrote on Twitter.
This year, contradictions between the US and China have escalated over how the media covers the coronavirus epidemic. The United States demanded that a number of Chinese state media reduce the number of journalists working on American territory, which led to the de facto expulsion of 60 Chinese media employees from the country.
In turn, China demanded that US citizens who worked in China for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post hand over their journalistic credentials, which also forced American journalists to leave the host country. In addition, the US and China have tightened their mutual requirements for journalists, requiring a report on the number of employees, finances, and other aspects of the activities of journalism bureaus on their territory.
Relations between Beijing and Washington have been tense in recent months for a number of reasons, such as the coronavirus pandemic, the situation with the rights of national minorities in China, the refusal of China to participate in arms control negotiations, and trade contradictions.