DOJ orders two Chinese state-run media organizations to register as foreign agents

DOJ orders two Chinese state-run media organizations to register as foreign agents
© Anna Moneymaker

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered two Chinese media organization with strong ties to China's government to register as foreign agents in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the DOJ has ordered Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television Network (CGTN) to register as foreign agents amid a U.S. effort to ramp up efforts to combat foreign interference in media and political groups.

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Xinhua News Agency is the country's largest news organization, while CGTN operates a collection of six TV channels in different languages.

Orders for the two companies to register as foreign operations come a little less than a year after Russian state media agency RT, formerly known as Russia Today, decided to register as a foreign agent to avoid U.S. prosecution under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

“The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing FARA and expects compliance with the law by all entities engaged in specified activities on behalf of any foreign principal, regardless of its nationality," a DOJ spokesperson said last year.

News of the DOJ orders against the Chinese media organizations comes a day after the Trump administration moved to implement $200 billion worth of tariffs against imports from China, further escalating the trade war with China.