The Trump administration is ordering China’s major state media companies to sharply reduce the ranks of Chinese nationals in the U.S. in retaliation for years of tightening restrictions on American news outlets by Beijing. State Department officials announced Monday that a personnel cap is being imposed on four Chinese media companies, forcing them to reduce their Chinese employees in the U.S. to 100 in total, from 160. The four outlets targeted—Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network and China Daily—must comply with the new limits by March 13, the officials said. Those outlets purvey Chinese government views, and the State Department last month said their U.S. operations will be subject to the rules for representatives of a foreign government, not treated as independent news media. The Trump administration has adopted a get-tough policy toward Beijing, using tariffs, investment reviews and other tools as punishment for what it sees as a lack of reciprocity in its treatment of American businesses, products and, now, news organizations. In announcing the new cap, the State Department officials cited “a longstanding, negative trend” in Beijing’s treatment of foreign journalists. Though the officials said the action wasn’t taken in response to a particular incident, it comes after Beijing last month ordered the expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters over a headline on an opinion column that the Chinese government and many Chinese say was offensive. The headline referred to China as “the real sick man of Asia.”
We’re happy to see the Trump Administration taking a tougher posture with China. This is a good thing, and long overdue.