You are here

Michael Pompeo, Institution of a Personnel Cap on Designated PRC Media Entities, March 2, 2020

Two documents are included here. The first is an announcement by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on new limits imposed on the number of people permitted to work in the U.S. for designated PRC media entities. The second is a background briefing on the policy by two senior State Department officers. The policy was announced and the briefing was held at the State Department in Washington, D.C.

March 2, 2020
Print

For years, the government of the People’s Republic of China has imposed increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation against American and other foreign journalists operating in China.

President Trump has made clear that Beijing’s restrictions on foreign journalists are misguided.  The U.S. government has long welcomed foreign journalists, including PRC journalists, to work freely and without threat of reprisal.

The U.S. government is today instituting a personnel cap on certain PRC-controlled state media entities in the United States – specifically, the five entities that were designated by the U.S. State Department on February 18, 2020, as foreign missions of the People’s Republic of China. This cap limits the number of Chinese citizens permitted to work for these organizations in the United States at any given time.

The cap applies to the five Chinese state media entities operating in the United States that have been designated as foreign missions, which recognizes that they are effectively controlled by the PRC government.  Unlike foreign media organizations in China, these entities are not independent news organizations.

The decision to implement this personnel cap is not based on any content produced by these entities, nor does it place any restrictions on what the designated entities may publish in the United States.

Our goal is reciprocity.  As we have done in other areas of the U.S.-China relationship, we seek to establish a long-overdue level playing field.  It is our hope that this action will spur Beijing to adopt a more fair and reciprocal approach to U.S. and other foreign press in China.

We urge the Chinese government to immediately uphold its international commitments to respect freedom of expression, including for members of the press.

////////////////////////////////
Briefing for journalists on the policy.
///////////////////////////////

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  So again, just to remind you guys, .  I cover China, Mongolia, and Taiwan issues.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  .

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I’ve got about four minutes here of topline points which I’ll just read off to you guys, if that’s okay, and then we can do the Q&A.

For years, the Government of the PRC has imposed increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation against American and other foreign journalists in China.  President Trump has made clear that Beijing’s restrictions on foreign journalists are misguided.  He’s also made clear that the U.S. will establish long-overdue reciprocity in our relations with China.

Today, the U.S. Government will cap the number of PRC citizens permitted to work for the U.S. offices of PRC propaganda outlets that were designated as foreign missions of the PRC Government on February 18 under our Foreign Missions Act.  Just to remind you guys, those five entities are Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development, which is the People’s Daily distributor here in the States.

Their designations as foreign missions recognizes the fact that these entities are indeed controlled by the PRC Government, and of course, the Foreign Missions Act authorizes the State Department to establish terms and conditions on the operations of foreign missions like these five entities.

Today’s cap will limit the number of PRC citizens who may work for these organizations in the U.S. at any given time.  These entities together currently employ about 160 PRC citizens.  The cap will bring this number to 100.  PRC citizens working for other media organizations in the United States are not affected by the cap – not affected by the cap.

The U.S. is taking this action in order to clearly communicate the severity of our concerns about the abusive, unfair, and non-reciprocal treatment of international press in China.  We urge the PRC Government to immediately uphold its commitments to respect freedom of expression, including for members of the press.

This administration seeks reciprocity across the bilateral relationship with China, particularly in areas where we have long suffered from lack of a level playing field.  We note that even after this cap is implemented, these five PRC state media groups, which are – to remind everyone – explicit propaganda organs of the Chinese Communist Party, these five alone will continue to employ more Chinese personnel here in the U.S. than there are foreign reporters at all U.S. media outlets in China.  And of course, unlike U.S.-based media organizations, these PRC state entities are not, in fact, independent news organizations.  As I said, they are explicit propaganda organs of the Chinese Communist Party.

That said, this decision to institute a personnel cap was not based on the content produced by these entities.  This stands in stark contrast, unfortunately, to the actions of the PRC Government with respect to the international press in China.

Secretary Pompeo has made clear that mature, responsible countries understand the essential value of a free press.  The U.S. Government has long welcomed foreign journalists, including from China, to report the news freely and without threat of reprisal here in our country.  Journalists in the U.S., regardless of their nationality, had and will continue to enjoy the freedom of expression that is not permitted in China.  This cap merely limits the number of PRC citizens that may work for these designated state propaganda entities at any given time.

I’ve got a couple of numbers here for you guys.  For each of the past five years – that’s ’15 through ’19, 2015 through 2019 – the U.S. has issued more than 11,000 I-visas globally for foreign media reps and their immediate family members.  In 2019 alone, we issued 425 I-visas to PRC citizens.  Meanwhile, the total number of U.S. journalists working in China on behalf of both U.S.-based and other foreign-based media is only around a hundred total.  It is our hope that this action will spur Beijing to adopt a more fair and reciprocal approach to U.S. and other foreign independent press in China.

We can go to the Qs and As.  Do you want to pick them out, ?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Yeah.  Go ahead.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  First of all, you mentioned it’s going down to about 100.  Do you expect that some people currently here will be forced to leave because their visas will not be renewed, or do you think this is more applying for the future?  And to what extent is this directly a consequence of what China has done with the Wall Street Journal reporters?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I can talk about the second question first, and then maybe, you can comment on the first.

QUESTION:  Sure.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Look, we have been witnessing a very longstanding negative trend in the treatment of the press – I’d say both the Chinese domestic press and the international press in China – for a number of years.  And in fact, I would refer all of you, if you haven’t seen it already, to the report that was just published today in Beijing by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China, “Control, Halt, and Delete: Reporting in China Under Threat of Expulsion.”  I have some copies here that you guys can avail yourselves of if you like.

There’s a longstanding issue here, and we have been imploring the Chinese for years and years now to improve their treatment of journalists in China.  So this is not linked to any one particular incident, although the incident that you do point to was, in fact, a fairly egregious example, but again of a very longstanding trend.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  So in terms of your first question, the caps aren’t placed on individuals; they’re only on the entities.  So it will up to Xinhua to determine who they want to work or not.  And in terms of how long they’ll be here, that will be up to them.  Their status in the country isn’t determined by the Department of State.

QUESTION:  Is it effective immediately?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  No, it’s effective March 13th.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Go ahead, Carol.

QUESTION:  Does this have any connection to coronavirus?  And also, what kind of retaliation are you preparing for that the Chinese may make against foreign correspondents in China as a result of this?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  The first question about the coronavirus – this is the result of a longstanding policy deliberation not directly related to the coronavirus, although I would point out that, as the Secretary has said, the coronavirus does highlight the need for an independent press very clearly.

The second question was —

QUESTION:  Retaliation.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Look, our whole goal here is to signal to Beijing how seriously we take a lack of reciprocity and the intimidation and harassment of foreign journalists in China.  Our goal is to get to a situation where China is more open to foreign journalism within its borders.  We would be quite happy to take this entire process in a different trajectory.  But whether or not the Chinese are going to retaliate is – I can’t answer that.  That’s something you’ll have to ask the Chinese Government.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Go ahead.

QUESTION:  Thanks.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Sure.

QUESTION:  Katrina FT.  Can I just check, with the March 13 deadline, does that mean that these five organizations need to send back 60 PRC citizens by March the 13th?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  We’re not talking about sending anybody back.  These people will not be able to be employed as members of their personnel as of March 13th.

QUESTION:  So they’ve got to make a cut?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Right.

QUESTION:  It’s not a natural transition expiry of visa?  They’ve got to —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  It has nothing to do with their visa status.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Tracy.

QUESTION:  Just a quick – you said 100, the cap was down to 100 for five organizations.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Those five, right.

QUESTION:  So is there, like, a quota each organization?  Is it broken down that specifically?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  It is.

QUESTION:  Can you —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I don’t have those numbers off the top of my head, but yes.

QUESTION:  Okay.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  I have them, if you’d like them.

QUESTION:  I’d like them.

QUESTION:  Sure.

QUESTION:  Yes.

QUESTION:  Yeah, we all would.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Oh, man.  (Laughter.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  China Radio International —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Softball.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Yeah, really.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  — two personnel.

QUESTION:  Which one?  I’m sorry, say again?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  China Radio —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  CRI.

QUESTION:  Okay.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  China Daily, nine.  China Global, CGTN, 30.  And Xinhua is 59.  So it’s no more than those numbers that are PRC citizens.

QUESTION:  Is there a fifth?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  No.  There was no action taken against Hai Tian at this time.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Courtney, I think you had —

QUESTION:  Thanks.  So what kind of engagements, if any, has the U.S. Government had with the PRC Government or with these five outlets prior to this announcement that you’re making to us?  And just further on what Carol was asking about the retaliation, are there considerations that you’re taking or steps to protect American journalists who are there now?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  I can take the first part; you take the second part?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Sure.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  So in terms of the engagement that we’ve had with these entities, when we designated them as foreign missions on February 18th, we informed them of that via letter.  We’ve had various emails that have gone back and forth.  They were required to report the number of personnel they had in the country and where their office spaces were located, what kind of property they own – same as any other foreign mission in the United States, as a matter of fact.  And so we’ve been going back and forth getting that type of information.  We’ve also, obviously, let the People’s Republic of China’s embassy aware of all of this as well, and we’ve sent them diplomatic notes on this issue as well.

So that’s pretty much the only engagement that we’ve had with these five foreign missions, was getting their property and their personnel list.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  With regard to your second question, I would point out again our goal is obviously to get to a place where Beijing moves to a more accommodating posture vis-a-vis foreign journalists, including Americans.  I can’t – I’m not in a position to predict what they may or may not do.  If, in fact, they decide to take this in a further negative direction, however, of course, we would – all options would be on the table.  I can’t tell you what in particular we would do, but we would sit down, review the circumstances, and then consider all of our options.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Lara.

QUESTION:  So I just want to be crystal clear:  This is not to expel journalists who are in the United States, but it would force the four, it sounds like, entities to, what, fire 60 people?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  These are global entities.  I don’t know anybody would be fired at all.  They simply cannot work for these entities in the United States.

QUESTION:  But aren’t their visas contingent on having employment in the United States?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Yes.

QUESTION:  So they would have to find other – and are these journalism visas?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  These are the personnel that are members, that are citizens of the People’s Republic of China, who are not American citizens and who are not legal permanent residents.  That’s it.  In terms of their visa status or —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  There’s all sorts of visa —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  There’s a number of different visa statuses that are involved here – I, J, a number of different visa statuses.  But keep in mind, your visa status is not what allows you to stay in the United States.  Your duration of status, your term in the United States, is determined by the Department of Homeland Security.

QUESTION:  So theoretically they could stay in the United States until their current visa runs out, and then —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  So your – excuse me —

QUESTION:  I’m just – yeah, I want to be really clear on this point.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Sure.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Well, I think you’d have to answer on individual cases there, which would be difficult, because it’s not everyone that is – that will be affected is not necessarily on the same visa.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  There could be follow-on considerations, but those are not – we’re talking about the State Department action, which is the cap.  Other things would have – you’d have to have DHS and other folks around the table that —

QUESTION:  Yeah, I’m just really trying —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  There could be follow-on —

QUESTION:  I just don’t want to put out a story that makes it sound like people are going to be expelled, right?  I mean, that this is a tit-for-tat with a direct kind of correlation with what happened to The Wall Street Journal reporters.  So I’m trying to be very precise on the language.  And so if I’m sitting at China Daily or something, what am I – what are my options for the employees who are no longer going to be associated with that organization?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  That’s up to each of those entities.  Now, keep in mind, if your visa says it expires July 14th, 2020, that has nothing to do with your status in the United States.

QUESTION:  What do you mean?

QUESTION:  Why?

QUESTION:  Yeah, but why?

QUESTION:  I mean, what do they —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Can we stay with this exactly?  This is a cap on their ability to employ Chinese nationals at their offices here in the United States.  That is – I mean, that’s – that is the most accurate —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  I would also refrain from calling them journalists.  I think it’s offensive to The Wall Street Journal to compare the two.

QUESTION:  Well, that’s what I’m trying to avoid, right?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Yes.

QUESTION:  And so I would – I guess we’re – I mean, it sounds like several of us are kind of confused.  I mean, what – if their legal presence in the United States is contingent on their visas, why wouldn’t they have to leave?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  A visa is a travel document.  That’s all it is.  It gets you in the door.

QUESTION:  Right.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  And then once you get to the port of entry, the Department of Homeland Security makes a determination how long you can stay.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Humeyra, do you have a question?

QUESTION:  It’s pretty much the same thing.  I’m on an I-visa.  If they – they can no longer employ me, I believe I would have to be out of the country at some point.  So I’m not entirely clear, like Lara.  I understand you guys are not making the decision to expel them in any way, but if their visas, or at least if some of their visas are dependent, contingent, on this employment, I don’t see how it’s not for them, how it’s not equal for them that they have to leave, unless you’re offering these people an alternative.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  The bottom line is each individual visa case, we can’t comment on what that situation is.  We don’t know if they’re – how long their status is or what they’re going to do.  We don’t even know – we’re not designating any individuals whatsoever.  So those determinations are going to have to be made by Xinhua, by CGTN, by CRI, and you really have to ask the questions of those entities.

QUESTION:  Was there any guidance?  The practical effect is going to be that a large – up to 60 people could potentially be going back to China at some date certain, depending on their individual visa status.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  It’s certainly a possibility.  I mean, that’s —

QUESTION:  That’s —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  — up to each individual entity.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Nick’s been waiting.  Go ahead.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  Just two quick ones.  Can you tell us the numbers that they’re going from for those four entities?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I think it was about 160.

QUESTION:  And that would be broken down.

QUESTION:  Broken down, yeah.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I don’t have those broken down, but —

QUESTION:  Do you?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  — they were roughly proportional to the final numbers, was an indication – I mean, we tried to do it more or less – I don’t have the – I don’t have that number broken down.  I don’t know if you do.

QUESTION:  The percentages —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  No.

QUESTION:  — but I mean, it’s – it does seem – just to get – don’t want to belabor the point, but it does seem like you guys are expelling 60 reporters, but don’t really want to use the language of saying we’re expelling them.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  First of all, again, we’re not —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  The reporters – these don’t have to be reporters.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  We’re not – yeah.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  They have all sorts of employees, right.  I mean, they can choose to go – anybody in the entire org chart that —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  For the integrity of journalism worldwide, we are specifically not calling them reporters and journalists.  It’s up to all of you how you characterize them, but I would just ask you to think carefully about that.

QUESTION:  Right, but I mean, that seems to be the effect, right?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Again, they have employees other than what they might call journalists there.  We’re not saying anything about how they decide to get down to these numbers.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Yeah, they have HR, tech, right, like any organization.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  They might want to get rid of anybody from the top to the bottom, left to right of their org chart.

QUESTION:  So CRI is only allowed to have two employees in their entire office?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Two PRC national employees.  That’s correct.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Okay, go.  Which – CNN, which one?

QUESTION:  Okay, you go.

QUESTION:  Will these names of the employees who are let go be turned over to the State Department?  What does that information – is that being turned over to the Intelligence Community at all, DHS?  What is happening with that information after these decisions are made by the entities?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  We request that they inform the Office of Foreign Missions.

QUESTION:  And then what happens from there?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  We – we’re treating these entities just like any other foreign mission.  So when second secretary so and so at the Chinese embassy leaves, they have to let us know that they’ve left, per the Foreign Missions Act.  This is exactly the same thing.

QUESTION:  And they have to inform you of which names are no longer working for them by March 13th?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  That’s correct.  Actually, they need to inform us of that by March 6th.

QUESTION:  And when those people are informed that they are no longer working for that company, you are not offering additional visa reviews for them?  If they have a certain visa, they’re not going to get to sit down with the State Department and go over their visa, right?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Again, that would be an individual visa case?

QUESTION:  Right.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  I can’t speak to that at all.

QUESTION:  Okay.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Katrina.

QUESTION:  Thank you.  Given what has said about the people that the organizations would call journalists but the U.S. does not call journalists —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Well, remember, we call them foreign missions, so it’s the same – it —

QUESTION:  I understand.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  That’s why – well, they were talking about the Foreign Missions Act.  It’s the same requirements on the Chinese embassy here, for example.

QUESTION:  Yes, I understand.  So many of those people may be on existing I visas.  Are you separately initiating a review of all Chinese personnel who are on I visas given that you now view them not as journalists?  And do you know how many people that would be?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  I don’t have any information on that at all.  Do you?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I don’t have anything at this – at this point in time, I think the answer to that is no.  But as I said, I mean, all options are on the table.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Good idea.  Thanks.  Conor hasn’t gone yet.

QUESTION:  Just to follow up on Courtney’s question.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Just kidding.  That was sarcasm, for the record.

QUESTION:  If the goal of this is to send a signal to Beijing, why haven’t you communicated with the Chinese Government about these decisions, beyond just diplomatic notes, with these actual outlets?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Oh, we have been crystal clear with our Chinese counterparts about our ongoing dissatisfaction with the lack of a level playing field, with the constant and increasing levels of harassment and intimidation.

QUESTION:  But specifically about – like, has Ambassador Branstad gone to the foreign ministry?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Well, we – we did signal – when these five entities were designated as foreign missions, we did engage in Beijing and in Washington extensively with our PRC counterparts.  Yeah, so I would just say that we have been in frequent contact with our PRC counterparts about all aspects of this issue.

QUESTION:  Has there been any openness to this message on the Chinese side?  What’s the response been?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I don’t want to characterize our diplomatic communications with the Chinese, so I would refer you back to the PRC on that front.  I – what I will say is that up until this point in time right here and now, all the trend lines I’ve been able to observe have been in the wrong direction.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Okay, we’ve got to end it.

QUESTION:  Can I – just a very quick follow-up?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Carol and then – she hasn’t had one.  Can you let her go and then you can be the last one, Carol.

QUESTION:  I’m sorry.  On the numbers that you gave earlier, I’m sorry, I’m a little bit confused.  Were those numbers the numbers that you’re telling, like CGTN, Xinhua, to – like, you take off two of your people, you take off 59?  Or are those —

QUESTION:  No, they’re allowed —

QUESTION:  — the people that are allowed to leave?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  You got it.

QUESTION:  Okay.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  It’s confusing.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  No more than.

QUESTION:  Okay, so like, CGTN can have no more than 59?

MBASSADOR BRENNAN:  Actually, I think CGTN was —

QUESTION:  No, that’s Xinhua.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Yeah, Xinhua can have no more than 59.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  PRC nationals.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Yeah, right.

QUESTION:  Gotcha, thank you.

QUESTION:  So if they have 20 Americans —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  If you want to hire lots of Americans, go for it.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Absolutely.

QUESTION:  What was the one organization that no action was taken?

QUESTION:  ITN.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  ITN.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  It’s the distributor for People’s Daily.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Carol.

QUESTION:  Very quickly, have you notified the Chinese Government or these foreign news organizations at this point?  And if not, when will you do so?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Yes, we have.

QUESTION:  What was their reaction?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  There hasn’t been a reaction as of the moment.

QUESTION:  You notified them today?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  We did.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Okay.  Well, we’ve really got to get going, but yeah let’s —

QUESTION:  Just one quick follow-up.  Why was there no action taken against ITN?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  On ITN?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  ITN.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  You want to take it?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  No, you go ahead.  I think I’ve only had one.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  They had – as far as we know as of the moment, they have two personnel who are not PRC citizens.

QUESTION:  Okay.  Thanks.

QUESTION:  Roughly proportional, you said, so about 40 percent each entity?  Would that be a fair – you said it was roughly proportional, each entity.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  We’d have to do the math.  I don’t have that.

QUESTION:  We can’t do the math because you didn’t have the totals.  So —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  Yeah.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Well, the total —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL TWO:  But they’ll —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  The total was around 160.

QUESTION:  The whole total, yeah, that’s what I meant, each entity.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Now we’re down to about a hundred, so whatever —

QUESTION:  That’s 40 percent or whatever.  I can’t do math.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Yeah.  Well, then – I mean, I’d have to do my 60 —

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  Yeah, I would – I’m not quite sure.

QUESTION:  So could I say Xinhua roughly has to lose 40 percent – I mean, is allowed to keep 40 percent of its – roughly?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  I would – I would – I mean —

QUESTION:  Don’t go – don’t go there.  Okay, never mind.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  I don’t have my calculator handy.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL THREE:  All right, you guys have got to go.  Goodbye.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ONE:  Thank you so much, everyone.  Thank you, guys.

 

Print

Events

October 15, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a book talk with author David Lampton. His new book examines China’s effort to create an intercountry railway system connecting China and its seven Southeast Asian neighbors.