Home World news American journalists in Hong Kong could be Beijing’s next target

American journalists in Hong Kong could be Beijing’s next target

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China could take intention at American journalists in Hong Kong, if the US doesn’t renew visas for Chinese journalists, Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin stated.

“From what I know, given that the US side hasn’t renewed visa of Chinese journalists, Chinese side has prepared for the worst scenario that all Chinese journalists have to leave the US,” Hu stated Tuesday on Twitter. “If that’s the case, Chinese side will retaliate, including targeting US journalists based in HK.”

The Global Times is a tabloid run by the People’s Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party. Hu’s tweets have grow to be carefully watched after precisely forecasting earlier strikes by China’s authorities.

“Hong Kong is a part of China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin advised a day by day briefing in Beijing later Tuesday. “When China is forced to make a necessary and legitimate response, it is within the legitimate diplomatic power of the Chinese government.”

Wang stated the US restrictions on Chinese journalists had “severely interfered with their normal operations in the US.”

“The cause and responsibility for the current situation lies solely with the US,” he stated. “If the US continues with its wrongdoings, China will be forced to make necessary and legitimate responses and resolutely safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests.”

The US State Department didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

In Crosshairs

Such a transfer would be an escalation of a tit-for-tat struggle that has ensnared media staff in each international locations. After the US imposed visa restrictions on Chinese journalists, Beijing in February expelled greater than a dozen of their American counterparts, together with three Wall Street Journal reporters.

The Trump administration then ordered Chinese state-owned information shops — together with the Xinhua News Agency — to chop the dimensions of their US-based employees, a part of a broader response to Beijing’s restrictions on American journalists.

Unlike mainland China, Hong Kong doesn’t subject journalist visas and is meant to take care of unbiased management over immigration. But the town’s potential to find out its personal immigration coverage is being more and more undermined.

In 2018, Hong Kong denied a visa renewal for Victor Mallet of the Financial Times, following his internet hosting an occasion with a neighborhood independence activist on the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. It additionally refused entry to Human Rights Watch government director Kenneth Roth. Some of the American reporters kicked out of China earlier this yr weren’t allowed to go to Hong Kong.

Steps to squeeze journalists in the semi-autonomous monetary hub could gasoline additional tensions between the US and China. The world’s two greatest economies have seen relations worsen in current months on every little thing from commerce to Hong Kong, on which China has imposed sweeping nationwide safety laws that’s raised fears about fundamental freedoms — together with of the press.

The European Union stated in an announcement this week that the town’s proposed year-long postponement of key Legislative Council elections beforehand set for Sept. 6 “would delay the renewal of its democratic mandate and call into question the exercise of the democratic rights and freedoms guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”

Hu stated earlier that quite a lot of Chinese journalists will see their visas expire on Aug. 6, and “none of them” have but been renewed. Beijing is making ready for a worst-case situation the place the US forces it to withdraw all Chinese journalists, and can retaliate “fiercely” to refusals to resume their visas, Hu wrote on Weibo.

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