The US is reducing the number of Chinese employees allowed to work in the US offices of Chinese state-run media companies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Twitter.
Today, we announced a personnel cap on Chinese government-controlled media organizations in the United States. We urge Beijing to respect freedom of expression and will continue to seek reciprocity across the bilateral relationship.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 2, 2020
"The US government is today instituting a personnel cap on certain PRC-controlled state media entities in the United States - specifically, the five entities that were designated by the US State Department on February 18, 2020, as foreign missions of the People’s Republic of China," Pompeo said. "This cap limits the number of Chinese citizens permitted to work for these organizations in the United States at any given time."
Pompeo did not provide specific figures.
On 19 February, China announced that it would give three Wall Street Journal reporters five days to leave the country following a scandal that was provoked by the publication of an opinion piece about the coronavirus outbreak titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia". Beijing said that "sick man" is a racist phrase which was used in the West in the late 1800s to disparage China.
The US State Department condemned the expulsion, saying that "a free press reports facts and expresses opinions."