Date: March 21, 2020
By Barnini Chakraborty
Beijing on Friday ordered at least seven Chinese nationals to walk away from their jobs at American news outlets, escalating the public spat between the superpowers over press access.
News assistants at The New York Times, Voice of America and two other outlets were dismissed from their positions and told to go home, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"China appears determined to crush the newsgathering operations of major U.S. outlets in Beijing, this time by taking punishing measures against local Chinese employees," Steven Butler, CPJ's Asia program coordinator said. "This action will not stop the ongoing tit-for-tat between China and the United States, and may escalate it. China should stop trying to control and intimidate foreign news bureaus and allow them to hire Chinese staff freely and directly."
Butler said foreign bureaus in China are prohibited by law from hiring Chinese citizens as employees and "rely on personnel formally hired by the Personnel Service Corporation, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to the corporation's website.
The Chinese staff, he added, "perform critical functions at foreign news outlets, providing language and research support." [FULL STORY]