US designates four major Chinese media outlets as ‘foreign missions’

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Washington: A move that may further deteriorate the relationship between the two nations, the US government on Monday described operations of four major Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions” as they are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by the Chinese governmentThey thus became the equivalent of an embassy. 

The move means that the outlets will have to send the State Department in USA a full list of employees in the U.S. and their real estate holdings, as applied in the case of an  embassy or consulate.  

“Pursuant to authorities under the Foreign Missions Act, the State Department is issuing today a new determination that designates the U.S. operations of China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily, and the Global Times as foreign missions,” read a statement issued by the US State Department.

“This follows on the February 18 designation of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA,” it said.

Over the past decade and particularly under General Secretary Xi Jinping’s tenure, the CCP has reorganized China’s state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them, the department said.

The department said: “These nine entities all meet the definition of a foreign mission under the Foreign Missions Act, which is to say that they are ‘substantially owned or effectively controlled’ by a foreign government.  In this case, they are effectively controlled by the government of the People’s Republic of China.”

“The decision to designate these entities is not based on any content produced by these entities, nor does it place any restrictions on what the designated entities may publish in the United States.  It simply recognizes them for what they are,” the US Department said.

The move might see some of those appointed as journalists in the outlets leave the United States.