Selin ATAY-TDO- China vowed to retaliate if the U.S. persisted with “hostile action” against Chinese journalists who may be forced to leave in the upcoming days if their U.S. visas are not extended.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters at a daily briefing that no Chinese journalist in the U.S. had been granted a visa extension since the U.S., on May 11, limited their stay to 90 days, with an option to extend.
“The U.S. has been escalating its actions against Chinese journalists. The U.S. should immediately correct its mistake and stop its actions.” Wang Wenbin told reporters
“If the U.S. persists, China will take a necessary and legitimate response to safeguard its rights,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.
Wang did not say how many Chinese journalists were affected or what retaliation China might consider. However, the editor of China’s Global Times newspaper Hu Xijin said earlier U.S. journalists based in Hong Kong would be among those targeted should Chinese journalists be forced to leave the U.S.
“Chinese side has prepared for the worst scenario that all Chinese journalists have to leave. If that’s the case, Chinese side will retaliate, including targeting US journalists based in HK.” Hu Xijin said on Twitter.
The Global Times is published by the People’s Daily which is the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party.
The U.S. in March slashed the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work at the U.S. offices of major Chinese state-owned media to 100 from 160.
China expelled the United States journalists working for three U.S. newspapers - New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post -- this year and has threatened to match any more U.S. action against Chinese journalists.