US deems five Chinese media outlets 'foreign missions'

US deems five Chinese media outlets 'foreign missions'

WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
US deems five Chinese media outlets foreign missions

The U.S. is designating five Chinese state-run media organizations as foreign missions, a State Department official said on Feb. 18.

They include Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation and Hai Tian Development USA.

"Each one of these entities meets the definition of a foreign mission under our Foreign Mission Act, which is to say they are either substantially owned or effectively controlled by a foreign government.

"And that's why we have now determined that we will be treating them as foreign missions," said the official.

The organizations are required to notify the Office of Foreign Missions in the State Department of their current personnel in the U.S. and basic information about those individuals.

They are also supposed to inform U.S. authorities if anyone departs or a new employee arrives -- a standard requirement for an embassy or consulate.

In addition, the media organization's owned or leased property proceedings are subject to approval from the Office of Foreign Missions.

The official said the five outlets are subject to the control of the Chinese government.

"Obviously, the Chinese Communist Party has always had a pretty tight rein on media in general and state-run media in particular, but that has only further tightened since Xi Jinping took over.

"Since he became general secretary, China's Communist Party has reorganized China's state news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them, both in terms of content, editorial, et cetera," said the official.

The move came days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at China during his speech at an international security conference in the German city of Munich.

"The United States has woken up the world to China's unfair trading practices and the Chinese Communist Party's newly aggressive turn, whether on the military, diplomatic, or economic front," Pompeo said, according to CNN.

In his address to the international security conference, Defense Secretary Mark Esper accused the Chinese Communist Party of “heading faster and further in the wrong direction -- more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture."