The United States has identified four other Chinese state-owned media houses as "overseas missions," and has designated them as "propaganda" distributors "controlled" by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. This could further increase tensions between the two countries.
The four Chinese media identified as foreign representations on Monday are China Central Television, China News Service, People & # 39; s Daily and the Global Times. The total number is nine.
This could lead to increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, as President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a worldwide impact, and accused Beijing of suppressing the details of the contagion.
The United States is the most affected country by the virus. According to Johns Hopkins University, there are over 2.3 million coronavirus cases in America with more than 120,000 deaths.
However, China has rejected all of the US's allegations of the pandemic.
"These units are not independent news organizations. They are effectively controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), also known as the propaganda outlets," said State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus.
This follows the appointment of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation and Hai Tian Development USA on February 18.
"These nine units all meet the definition of a foreign mission under the Foreign Missions Act, which means that they are" essentially 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, "said Ortagus.
The decision to name these companies is not based on content created by these companies, nor does it restrict what the named companies may publish in the United States. It simply recognizes them for what they are, she said.
"Agencies designated as diplomatic missions must meet certain administrative requirements that also apply to foreign embassies and consulates in the United States," said Ortagus.
Deputy Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell said that by designating these outlets as overseas missions, the United States officially recognizes the effective control of the Chinese Party state over so-called media companies, including those operating here in the United States.
"While the Chinese Communist Party has always strictly controlled the Chinese state news agencies, their control has actually tightened in recent years. Over the past decade, the Chinese Communist Party has been reorganizing its state-run state, particularly during the term of Secretary General Xi Jinping News agencies and claimed even more direct control over them, "he said.
"I witnessed this firsthand when I worked with a friend in Beijing who was an advisor to the China Daily there, and he explained exactly how the party machine works in such a newspaper to make sure that they have the floor to have." The deletion was indeed aimed at what the Communist Party wanted. This is not journalism, journalism reports the facts, not what the party tells you, "said Stilwell.
China Central Television, CCTV, is a state television broadcaster that reports to both the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council, China's cabinet.
The China News Service (CNS) is the second largest state news agency in China after Xinhua.
It is headed by the United Front Work Department and they report directly to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. It goes without saying that People & # 39; s Daily is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, and then the Global Times is 100% owned by People & # 39; s Daily and takes their direction from them, he added.
"The Communist Party not only exercises operational control over these propaganda units, but also has full editorial control over their content. This foreign mission designation is an obvious step towards increasing the transparency of this and other propaganda activities by the PRC government in the United States States. "
"This determination should not reduce or limit the journalistic activity of foreign media. Again, these four companies are not media, but propaganda," said Stillwell.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)