China criticizes US media controls as 'political oppression'

China’s government has condemned a U.S. decision to require more Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions but gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate

BEIJING -- China’s government on Thursday condemned a U.S. decision to require more Chinese media outlets to register as foreign missions but gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate.

The steps announced Wednesday by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apply to six newspapers and other outlets, which requires them to identify their employees. Similar measures were imposed earlier on nine other Chinese outlets.

The Trump administration has indicated it might refuse visas for some of their employees, which prompted Beijing to say it might withhold visas for the few remaining American reporters in China.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Liajian, called the latest U.S. steps “political oppression.”

“China firmly opposes and strongly condemns unreasonable U.S. actions,” Zhao said at a regular news briefing. “China urges the United States to change course, correct its mistakes and stop the political suppression and unreasonable restrictions on Chinese media.”