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International relations

China strikes back with tighter scrutiny of 4 US media outlets

Move comes after Washington cracks down on Chinese news organizations

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China will require four U.S. news organizations to submit information about their employees and assets in the country, the latest move in a string of retaliatory measures targeting each side's media outlets.

The enhanced scrutiny, announced Monday by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, applies to the Associated Press, CBS, United Press International and NPR.

Washington had designated four Chinese outlets, including the People's Daily, as "foreign missions" on June 22, arguing that they are "effectively controlled by" the Chinese government.

Zhao called that move rooted in "Cold War mentality and ideological bias," while asserting that China's response is "legitimate and justified self-defense in every sense."

The two sides have cracked down more tightly on each other's media since Washington in February named China's state-run Xinhua News Agency and four other organizations as foreign embassies.

Major Chinese media including Xinhua, People's Daily and China Central Television have senior Communist Party officials in top management or editorial positions. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has called them "state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies."

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