The Trump administration on Monday announced to imposed limits on the number of Chinese nationals working for five Chinese state media entities in the United States at any given time. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, "We urge Beijing to respect freedom of expression and will continue to seek reciprocity across the bilateral relationship."
However, Pompeo hasn't specified any figure about the limit. A senior State Department official said that the entities together employ approximately 160 Chinese citizens and the cap will bring this number to 100, as per ANI report.
The cap comes days after the Chinese administration decided to expel three Wall Street Journal reporters over a headline on a coronavirus opinion piece on February 3 which read: "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia."
They noted that Chinese "citizens working for other media organizations in the United States are not affected by the cap".
"The U.S. government is today instituting a personnel cap on certain PRC-controlled state media entities in the United States -- specifically, the five entities that were designated by the U.S. State Department on February 18, 2020, as foreign missions of the People's Republic of China. This cap limits the number of Chinese citizens permitted to work for these organizations in the United States at any given time," Pompeo said in a statement on Monday.
"It is our hope that this action will spur Beijing to adopt a more fair and reciprocal approach to the U.S. and other foreign press in China," he said.
According to the officials, only four of the five entities are being affected by the cap at this time. A second senior State Department official said China Radio International will only be permitted to employ two Chinese nationals, China Daily Distribution Corporation will be permitted nine personnel, China Global Television Network will be allowed 30, and Xinhua will be allowed 59. Hai Tian Development USA, which distributes the People's Daily, is not being affected at this time.
(With inputs from ANI)