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China Targets US News Outlets

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks during a news conference in Beijing, April 8, 2020.

China said Wednesday it has demanded that four American news organizations disclose details about their business operations in the country in response to what it called U.S. “suppression” of Chinese state-run news outlets.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at his daily media briefing that Associated Press, CBS News, National Public Radio and United Press International had seven days to submit to the Chinese government details about their staffing, finances, real estate holdings and other information.

“The above-mentioned measures by China are completely necessary countermeasures and are completely legitimate defenses compelled by unreasonable suppression of the U.S. said on Chinese media agencies in the United States,” Zhao said.

China’s announcement comes after the Trump administration designated four more Chinese state-controlled media organizations last month as “foreign missions,” a move that could force them to reduce staffing in the U.S.

When making the June announcement, the U.S. State Department said the four Chinese outlets, including CCTV, must submit a list of all staffers in the U.S. and any real estate holdings.

The U.S., which said the move was necessary because of their association with the Chinese government and the ruling Communist Party, previously labeled five other Chinese as foreign missions in February.

China expelled reporters from several large U.S. news outlets earlier this year after the U.S. limited the number of Chinese journalists who work in the U.S.