The United States State Department released a statement on Monday announcing that four Chinese Communist party-run news outlets now qualify as “foreign missions,” meaning they are “substantially owned or effectively controlled by a foreign government,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Ortagus also stressed that General Secretary Xi Jinping has increased control over outlets in China throughout his time in office. “The CCP has reorganized China’s state propaganda outlets disguised as news agencies and asserted even more direct control over them,” Ortagus explained. “While Western media are beholden to the truth, PRC media are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party.”
The agencies — China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily, and the Global Times — are receiving the label to increase awareness of their actions in the U.S. and because foreign missions must “adhere to certain administrative requirements that also apply to foreign embassies and consulates in the United States.”
This action stems from power granted by the 1982 Foreign Missions Act which allows the State Department to regulate “the activities of foreign missions in the United States in a manner that will protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States.”
The announcement follows a similar declaration in February deeming five other Chinese media outlets as foreign missions.
Relations between the U.S. and China over media outlets have been strained since March 18 when correspondents for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post lost their credentials and were expelled from China.
Since then, the U.S. and China have faced disputes over COVID-19 reporting and misinformation. And the U.S. has sought to lessen the impact of Communist propaganda to combat the spread of that misinformation.
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Biden to lift sanctions on China in exchange for third promise to combat fentanyl
Reportedly President Joe Biden is making deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help improve anti-drug trafficking measures. China is one of the top fentanyl producers and distributors, culminating in a pandemic of fentanyl overdoses and deaths in the United States.
The Biden administration will be lifting sanctions on a Chinese government ministry, in exchange for bolstering anti-drug trafficking measures, Bloomberg reported. “We’re hoping to see some progress on that issue this coming week,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday, according to the New York Post. “That could then open the door to further cooperation on other issues where we aren’t just managing things, but we’re actually delivering tangible results.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation noted that should a deal materialize, it will be at least the third time that China has promised to get tough on fentanyl. In 2016, China agreed to increase counter-narcotics operations, and Xi again agreed to launch a crackdown in 2018. Nonetheless, China and Mexico are “the primary source countries for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked directly into the United States,” according to a 2020 DEA intelligence report.
“China remains the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations environment, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States.”
President Joe Biden and Xi are meeting for the first time in over a year during this week’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco. Sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) will crack down on Chinese companies manufacturing chemical precursors for fentanyl in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science, which the Commerce Department added to the Entity List in 2020 for “engaging in human rights violations and abuses” in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
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