"China has conveyed to the US side its concerns via diplomatic channels regarding the current situation with journalists and clearly outlined its position. China will act on the principle of 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,' and take the necessary measures to protect the legal rights of Chinese journalists. We once again call on the US side to immediately change the direction of its policy, stop political pressure on Chinese journalists, otherwise China will take a decisive symmetrical response", Wang said at a briefing.
According to the spokesman, some Chinese journalists in the US, whose visas expire on 4 November, have not yet received response to their visa extension applications.
Earlier this year, tensions between the United States and China escalated over the way media covered the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, Washington has repeatedly accused Beijing of mishandling and covering up the coronavirus outbreak at its initial stages, as well as censoring news related to the pandemic.
In February, Washington designated as foreign missions a number of Chinese state media that led to forcing out about 60 Chinese journalists. The US authorities also required the Asian country's media outlets to notify the State Department of their current personnel and real property holdings in the United States.
In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in March that journalists from key US outlets — the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post — must hand in their press credentials.