The United States has designated an additional four China-owned media organisations on its soil as foreign missions.
In a statement on Monday, the Department of State identified them as China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily and the Global Times.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that these bring to nine the number of Chinese media entities in the U.S., labelled as foreign state operatives.
It followed the Feb. 18 designation of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA.
The statement said the nine organisations met the definition of a foreign mission under the Foreign Missions Act.
What this means is that they are “substantially owned or effectively controlled’’ by a foreign government, according to the statement.
“In this case, they are effectively controlled by the government of the People’s Republic of China.
“Over the past decade, and particularly under General Secretary Xi Jinping’s tenure, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has reorganised China’s state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them.
“He has stated ‘party-owned media must. . . embody the party’s will, safeguard the party’s authority … their actions must be highly consistent with the party.’’
“In short, while Western media are beholden to the truth, PRC (People’s Republic of China) media are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,’’ it said.
The department explained that the entities were not designed base on any content they produced, neither does it place any restrictions on their publications.
It said the tag simply recognised them for what they are, adding that they must now have fulfilled certain administrative requirements that also apply to foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S.
NAN reports that the U.S. and China have been locked in a showdown over the foreign press.
In February, China expelled three journalists with the Wall Street Journal, after the paper published a controversial editorial criticising Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.