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US to tighten rules on China state media

February 18, 2020

The United States said Tuesday it will treat Chinese state media organizations as foreign missions, tightening rules on them as US officials decried what they described as Beijing’s growing propaganda.

Five outlets including the Xinhua news agency and the China Global Television Network will now need State Department approval to buy property in the United States and be required to submit lists of all employees, including US citizens, officials said.

The State Department said it would not impose any restrictions on Chinese media’s journalistic activities inside the United States.

State Department officials, who said they informed the five outlets of the new rules Tuesday morning, said that China has increasingly controlled and mobilized media since President Xi Jinping took office in 2013.

“There is no dispute that all five of these entities are part of the (Chinese) party-state propaganda news apparatus and they take their orders directly from the top,” an official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“We all know these guys have been state-controlled forever, but that control has gotten stronger over time, and it’s far more aggressive, their activities outside of the United States,” he said.

The other three outlets targeted under the rules are China Radio International and the distributors of the official People’s Daily and English-language China Daily.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.