China on Tuesday vowed to retaliate “in the same vein” if the United States persist with its “hostile action” against Chinese journalists who are at the verge of being forced out of US if their visas are not extended.
This was stated by the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, at a daily briefing.
He further claimed that Chinese journalists have been denied a visa extension in the United States since the United States had on May 11, limited their stay to 90 days, with an option to extend.
“The U.S. has been escalating its actions against Chinese journalists…the U.S. should immediately correct its mistake and stop its actions.”
“If the U.S. persists, China will take a necessary and legitimate response to safeguard its rights,” he said.
The Chinese spokesman did not specify the number of Chinese journalists affected, however, however, an editor of a Chinese newspaper said US journalists based in Hong Kong might be among the targeted should US fail to extend the visas.
“Chinese side has prepared for the worst scenario that all Chinese journalists have to leave,” he said on Twitter.
He added that “If that’s the case, Chinese side will retaliate, including targeting US journalists based in HK.”
The two countries, whose relations have deteriorated sharply recently over various issues including trade and the novel coronavirus, have exchanged several tit-for-tat actions involving journalists in recent months.