China vows ‘countermeasures’ against US journalists as diplomatic dispute escalates

China is threatening to further retaliate against American journalists overseas following claims that the U.S. has expelled dozens of Chinese media personnel and denied visas to others. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying issued the fresh warning to the Biden administration Friday after diplomats from both countries had agreed in March to start holding talks over the dispute, according to Bloomberg.

“If the U.S. continues to deliberately make things hard for our journalists, then we will have no choice but to take countermeasures, although we haven’t done so thus far,” Hua was quoted as saying during a press briefing. “What will happen next will be completely up to the U.S.” 

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In September last year, while former President Donald Trump was still in office, Beijing said the U.S. expelled more than 60 Chinese media personnel and denied visas to at least 20 others, while shortening the length of visas issued to those already inside American borders, Bloomberg reported. 

Hua earlier this week also said a journalist from the state-run Xinhua News Agency recently returned home because their U.S. visa wasn’t extended, according to Bloomberg. 

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At the same time, since September, Beijing has been delaying the renewal of 12-month press credentials for U.S. media working in China, issuing only three-month residence permits instead, according to the outlet. 

“If the U.S. corrects its mistakes, we will provide you with better convenience and service, but this is the best we can do to show you our goodwill, which you should cherish,” Hua said.