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Xi Jinping. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/Getty Images

The Chinese government announced Tuesday that it will revoke press credentials for American journalists who work for the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and whose credentials were set to expire in 2020, retaliating for state media restrictions by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: It's an escalation of a media war — in the midst of a global pandemic — that will result in U.S. journalists effectively being expelled from China. The journalists will not be permitted to work in Hong Kong or Macao, which is typically what blacklisted journalists have done in the past.

Context: The State Department announced last month that it designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

  • Around the same time, China revoked the press credentials of three Beijing-based Wall Street Journal journalists and ordered them to leave the country within five days, in response to an opinion piece headlined: "China is the Real Sick Man of Asia."
  • In March, the State Department announced a cap of 100 on the number of Chinese citizens who could be employed in the U.S. for five state-owned media outlets. The reduction from the current total of 160 meant that 60 Chinese nationals would have to leave the country.

Details:

  1. In retaliation for the five Chinese media agencies that the U.S. listed as "foreign missions," China will require five U.S. media outlets — Voice of America, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Time — to submit written reports of their staff, finances, operations and real estate in China.
  2. In retaliation for the U.S. expelling employees of Chinese media agencies, the American reporters who work for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post must hand over their press credentials within 10 days. In the future, they will not be allowed to work in the People's Republic of China, including Hong Kong and Macao.
  3. In retaliation for visa restrictions the U.S. imposed on Chinese journalists working for state media, China will take "reciprocal measures" against American journalists.

Between the lines: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement echoes the language of reciprocity that the U.S. State Department used to justify the media restrictions it adopted in February.

  • However, the U.S. restrictions targeted Chinese state-run media, which are widely recognized as propaganda outlets. With the exception of Voice of America, the U.S. outlets affected by new Chinese restrictions are private.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspend the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Chargés d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and non-essential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten embassy's ability to assist Americans.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).