China effectively ordered American New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journalists to leave the country to take the Communist government's most difficult move against foreign media recently.
The State Department said in a statement that the measure was retaliatory for Washington's decision to reduce the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work on Chinese soil for American state media.
As of Wednesday, the journalists, whose press IDs should expire later this year, must notify the State Department within four days and return their IDs within ten days, the ministry said.
"You must stop working as a journalist in the People's Republic of China, including the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions," the statement said.
China has already expelled three other Wall Street Journal reporters – two Americans and one Australian – for a racist headline in the US newspaper.
However, these evictions were also seen by some observers as a crucial step in the US decision to classify the US state-run Chinese media as foreign missions.
Beijing also instructed Voice of America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Time Magazine on Wednesday to write statements about its employees, finance, operations, and real estate in China.
She said she would take unspecified "reciprocal measures" against American journalists "in response to the discriminatory restrictions that the United States imposed on Chinese journalists regarding visas, administrative review and reporting."
"The above measures are absolutely necessary and mutual countermeasures that China must take in response to the inappropriate repression of Chinese media organizations in the United States," it said.
"They are legitimate and justified self-defense in every way."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)