U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo intensified surveillance of the Chinese Communist Party’s media in the United States, designating five of them as “foreign missions.”
“This action is long overdue. For years, these so-called media outlets have been mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party and these Chinese outlets are becoming more aggressive,” Pompeo told Axios.
The measure also seeks to establish reciprocity in the way U.S. media reporting in China are treated, which is subject to certain limitations imposed by the Chinese regime.
“These propaganda bodies operate freely within the open American system, while journalists within China face massive restrictions,” Pompeo added, referring to the Chinese media.
One example is the expulsion from China of three journalists linked to the Wall Street Journal because of an opinion piece in which they did not even participate.
In this case, the State Department applied the 1982 Foreign Mission Act, classifying the said media as “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by the Chinese communist regime.
The Chinese media designated as “foreign missions” are Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China International Radio, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA.
In order to comply with the law, these media outlets financed by the Chinese communist system must report on their staff and on their real estate on U.S. soil. They will also require prior approval to obtain new properties and to enter into leases.
This same designation was applied in 2010 to the Vietnam News Agency and in 1987, to points of sale in the former Soviet Union.
While the Trump administration continues to negotiate with the Chinese regime, many investigations have demonstrated the risk their actions pose to the United States.
For example, the Justice Department recently accused four members of the Chinese military of stealing data on 147 million Americans from the hacking of Equifax, a credit reporting agency, in 2017.
FBI Director Christopher Wray called the Chinese regime’s espionage “the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality.”
The FBI arrested 19 people, involving Chinese nationals, in the first 37 days of this year alone, representing 80 percent of all arrests last year and showing how espionage cases have skyrocketed, compared to 15 people discovered during the previous five years.