Commentary: Washington’s China media cap a self-humiliating farce

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In this March 17, 2020 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, workers in protective suits push a cart with passengers' luggage at the New China International Exhibition Center, which has been converted into a facility to screen international flight passengers arriving in Beijing. As the pandemic expanded its reach, China and South Korea were trying to hold their hard-fought gains. China is quarantining new arrivals, who in recent days have accounted for an increasing number of cases, and South Korea starting Thursday will increase screenings of all overseas arrivals. The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but severe illness is more likely in the elderly and people with existing health problems. (Peng Ziyang/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING — As Washington’s political crackdown on Chinese media outlets in the United States took effect on Friday, the two-faced nature of America’s so-called freedom of the press is being fully exposed.

The U.S. cap on the number of staffers for Chinese media based in America has also set a record for the mass expulsion of foreign journalists by a government in the history of journalism, leaving an indelible stain on Washington.

The U.S. State Department’s move against Chinese media has been long in the making and represents its latest step to engage in a smear campaign against the Chinese media.

The U.S. side has taken discriminatory measures against Chinese journalists in America for a long time, as 21 journalists have been denied visa since 2018 with various excuses, according to data provided by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Before drastically capping the number of Chinese reporters in America, the U.S. side had already listed the Chinese media as “foreign agents” and designated five media outlets as “foreign missions” on shaky grounds.

Some U.S. politicians are so entrenched in the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice that they deliberately turn a blind eye to the fact that Chinese journalists posted to America have been strictly abiding by U.S. laws and regulations and carrying out news reporting under the principle of objectivity, fairness, truthfulness and accuracy.

In fact, senior U.S. State Department officials admitted in a briefing with reporters that the move was not a result of any reports the five affected Chinese media organizations have published or broadcast.

For those China-bashers with a zero-sum mindset and an entrenched belief in U.S. hegemony, such as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a rising China has become unbearable.

Driven by a lack of confidence in U.S. strength and system, those U.S. politicians are even succumbed to the paranoia of being “ideologically invaded” by other countries.

The smear campaign against China has shown that those zealous U.S. politicians have no qualms about inciting an ideological conflict by misinforming the public with willful lies.

Instead of solving any problems of U.S. own making, Washington’s political crackdown on Chinese media sends a signal to the world that its so-called freedom of the press is nothing short of double standards and hegemonic bullying.

For those U.S. politicians troubled by the outdated and dangerous Cold War mindset, their despicable ploys against China are doomed to backfire and end up being self-humiliating.

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