China warns of countermeasures after US tightens visa rules for Chinese journalists

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US President Donald Trump meets with China’s President Xi Jinping (Reuters file photo)

COURTESY BY: https://www.hindustantimes.com/

China on Monday warned that it will take countermeasures in response to the US decision to tighten visa rules for Chinese journalists, urging Washington to immediately correct its mistakes.

The US last week announced it was limiting the visa-period for Chinese journalists to 90 days with the option to extend it.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Washington to correct its mistakes against Chinese journalists immediately or it will face countermeasures.

Opposing the US move, spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday said the US was escalating political suppression of Chinese media.

It will affect their normal reporting in the US and affect bilateral people-to-people exchanges.

“We are resolutely opposed and strongly dissatisfied with this,” Zhao said.

“We require the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake, or China will have no choice but to take countermeasures.”

Beijing and Washington have been involved in a series of tit-for-tat actions against journalists in recent months amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In March, China expelled American journalists from three US newspapers, soon after the US said it would begin to treat five Chinese state-run media entities as foreign embassies.

Weeks earlier, China expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters – two Americans and an Australian – after the paper published an opinion column calling China the “real sick man of Asia”.

The two countries have been engaged in a series of critical diplomatic exchanges in recent weeks with Washington accusing Beijing of mishandling the pandemic, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

The coronavirus has infected more than 4.1 million people and killed over 282,000, according to the US’s Johns Hopkins University.

China has retaliated by accusing the US of falsehood and having failed to tackle the outbreak in the country.On Sunday, China released an essay titled “Truth in China’s pandemic battle smashes absurd US allegations”, accusing American politicians of distorting facts to serve “political and propaganda purposes”.

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