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US designates 6 more Chinese media outlets as 'foreign missions'

US designates 6 more Chinese media outlets as 'foreign missions'
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The State Department announced Wednesday that the administration is labeling six more Chinese media outlets as “foreign missions,” accusing the publications of spreading propaganda.

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement the agency is slapping the designation on Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, Beijing Review and Economic Daily, accusing the state-owned outlets of toeing the Chinese Communist Party line. 

The designations do not impact the outlets’ ability to publish content in the U.S., but they do mandate the publications notify the State Department about its current personnel in the country, including basic information about the employees and the company’s property holdings. 

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“The decision to designate these entities does not place any restrictions on what these organizations may publish in the United States. It simply recognizes them for what they are  PRC-controlled propaganda outlets,” said Ortagus.

“Our goal is to protect the freedom of press in the United States, and ensure the American people know whether their news is coming from the free press or from a malign foreign government. Transparency isn’t threatening to those who value truth.” 

The State Department has already labeled several Chinese outlets as foreign missions, slapping the designation on five publications in February and four more in June.

Beijing responded to the June designations by revoking accreditation for U.S. correspondents with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, whose credentials expire by the end of 2020. 

The latest salvo comes amid spiking tensions between the U.S. and China over trade, the coronavirus pandemic, relations with Taiwan and Tibet, human rights violations in Hong Kong and against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, and efforts from Beijing to influence the 2020 presidential election.