China escalated the coronavirus blame war by placing restrictive measures on several top media companies from the US. This includes The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration has hit back at Chinese officials after they released a statement claiming the move was a retaliation to the Trump administration.
The statement claimed the new restrictions on U.S. reporters were a reaction against the Trump administration for putting caps on the number of journalists from five Chinese state-run media outlets working in the United States last month.
The National Security Council tweeted: “The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to expel journalists from China and Hong Kong is yet another step toward depriving the Chinese people and the world of access to true information about China.”
“The United States calls on China’s leaders to refocus their efforts from expelling journalists and spreading disinformation to joining all nations in stopping the Wuhan coronavirus.”
A spokesperson from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the US of “purposely making things difficult” for Chinese reporters.
The official accused the US of subjecting them to “growing discrimination and politically-motivated oppression.”
In response, China now has been demanding written information about journalists and their bosses at the China-based branches of Voice of America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and Time magazine.
This includes both their finances and real estate holdings in China.
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Beijing also announced it would be kicking out journalists with U.S. citizenship working with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post whose press credentials were set to expire before the end of 2020.
The government has given those journalists four calendar days to notify the Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Chinese government has required the journalists to turn in their press cards within 10 calendar days.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The individuals that we identified a few weeks back were not media that were acting here freely.
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“They were part of Chinese propaganda outlets.
“We’ve identified these as foreign missions under American law.
“These aren’t apples to apples, and I regret China’s decision today to further foreclose the world’s ability to conduct free press operations.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has announced his administration is issuing guidelines to blunt the spread of infection as the coronavirus spreads across all 50 states.
The death toll in the US has now passed 100.
Donald Trump has now recommended that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
The US president says people should also avoid discretionary travel, and going to bars, restaurants and food courts.
President Trump said the new guidelines from his coronavirus task force applied for 15 days and were meant to slow the spread of the virus.
President Trump said: “With several weeks of focused action we can turn the corner and turn it really, a lot of progress has been made.
“I’m also pleased to report today that a vaccine candidate has begun the phase one clinical trial.
“This is one of the fastest vaccine developments launches in history.
“Not even close but also racing to develop anti-viral therapies.”
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