US slaps restrictions on five major Chinese media outlets

US slaps restrictions on five major Chinese media outlets
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The Trump administration designated five major Chinese media outlets with U.S. operations as official government entities on Tuesday.

The move means each must register employees and properties located in the U.S. with the State Department under the Foreign Missions Act.

The media outlets designated by the U.S. as "foreign missions" include Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation and Hai Tian Development USA. All are considered controlled by or mouthpieces for the government.

It is not known whether China will retaliate against U.S. media outlets in China, which are already operating under tight restrictions.

“Entities designated as foreign missions must adhere to certain administrative requirements that also apply to foreign embassies and consulates in the United States,” according to State Department documents obtained by Fox News. “At this time, they must inform the State Department of their personnel rosters as well as their real estate holdings."

The move comes just days after Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperEsper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Overnight Defense: 2,700 sailors evacuating coronavirus-stricken carrier | Military to send ships, aircraft for counter-narcotics effort amid pandemic | Trump alleges Iranian plot for 'sneak attack' on US troops in Iraq Trump announces enhanced counternarcotics operation at coronavirus briefing MORE characterized China as a growing threat at an international security conference in Munich on Saturday.

“The Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction — more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture,” Esper said.

"While we often doubt the transparency and forthrightness of Beijing, when it comes to their security aims, we should take the Chinese government at its word. They have said that by 2035, the PRC intends to complete its military modernization, and, by 2049, it seeks to dominate Asia as the preeminent global military power,” he added, using an acronym for the People's Republic of China, the country's official name. 

The U.S. and China finalized "Phase 1" of a trade deal last month, with President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign: Trump and former vice president will have phone call about coronavirus Esper: Military personnel could help treat coronavirus patients 'if push comes to shove' Schumer calls for military official to act as medical equipment czar MORE keeping most tariffs on China as a negotiating chip for the next phase.