BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry said on Monday it will take all necessary measures to protect Chinese journalists in response to the United States delaying visa renewals for Chinese reporters.
China urges the United States to stop its “political crackdown” on Chinese journalists, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a news briefing.
“Upholding the principle of answering words with words and actions with actions, China will take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese journalists,” said Wang.
The United States in March slashed the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work at the U.S. offices of major Chinese state-owned media, and on May 11 limited their stay to 90 days, with an option to extend.
China has expelled U.S. journalists working for several U.S. newspapers this year, and introduced new visa restrictions on several U.S. media companies.
Some Chinese journalists were last week granted visa extensions due to expire as soon as Nov. 4, said Wang. Others have not been granted an extension yet, he said.
“We once again urge the U.S. to immediately give up its illusions and stop the political persecution and suppression of Chinese reporters,” said Wang.
“Do not say that you were not forewarned by China.”
The two countries’ relations have deteriorated recently over various issues including trade and the novel coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China.
Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christian Schmollinger
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