People walk on Times Square in New York, the United States, Sept. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday urges the United States to stop the political oppression and senseless restrictions against Chinese media outlets.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a U.S. decision to designate another six Chinese media outlets in the United States as "foreign missions."
In recent years, the U.S. government has imposed unwarranted restrictions on Chinese media agencies and personnel in the United States, purposely made things difficult for their normal reporting assignments, and subjected them to growing discrimination and politically-motivated oppression, Zhao said.
In December 2018, the United States demanded relevant Chinese media outlets in the United States to register as "foreign agents." On Feb. 18, 2020, the United States designated five Chinese media agencies as "foreign missions." On June 22, the United States again added four Chinese media organizations as "foreign missions," Zhao said.
On Oct. 21, the United States announced that it would designate six more Chinese media outlets as "foreign missions."
"This is its latest step of political suppression and stigmatization against Chinese media and journalists stationed in the United States. China firmly rejects and strongly condemns the U.S. senseless moves," Zhao said.
"China will make legitimate, necessary reactions. China urges the United States to immediately change course, correct mistakes, and stop the political oppression and senseless restrictions against Chinese media outlets," he said.
The U.S. moves, specifically targeting Chinese media, are based on Cold-War mindset and ideological bias, he said. "They severely undermine Chinese media's reputation and image, severely impact Chinese media's normal functioning in the United States, and severely disrupt cultural and people-to-people exchange between the two countries."
Such moves reveal the hypocrisy of the United States' self-proclaimed "freedom of the press," Zhao said.
Considering the U.S. government's wanton interference in domestic and foreign journalists' reporting, as well as their unwarranted smears and oppression against journalists, the United States itself is the perpetrator that blatantly suppresses media and restricts press freedom, he said.
"Its self-proclaimed image of a 'beacon' exists in name only," Zhao said. ■