In the latest clash between the world's two superpowers, Beijing on Tuesday vowed to retaliate against Washington, if Chinese journalists are forced to leave the U.S. as their visas near expiration.
Speaking to reporters, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said no Chinese journalists in the U.S. have been granted visa extensions since May 11th, when Washington limited their stay to 90 days, with an option to extend.
Such actions he called hypocrisy.
"On the one hand, the U.S. flaunts itself on freedom of press, while on the other hand, it obstructs the Chinese media from doing their job in the U.S. This exposes the hypocrisy of the so-called 'freedom of press' in the U.S. This is completely double standards and hegemonic bullying."
It's unknown how many Chinese journalists could be affected or what retaliation China might consider.
However, according to the Editor of China's Global Times, U.S. journalists based in Hong Kong would be among those targeted, should Chinese journalists be forced to leave the U.S.
Whatever the Chinese response may be, Wang says they will not stay quiet.
" If the U.S. keeps going its own way and makes even more mistakes, China will be forced to take necessary and justified responses, and resolutely safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests."
Beijing has also urged Washington to refrain from urging the video-sharing platform TikTok to be sold to an American corporation, warning not to "open Pandora's box', as the U.S. could fall victim to similar circumstances.
However, despite such warnings, the White House says it will take action in coming days on TikTok and other Chinese apps.
Microsoft is currently negotiating a deal to acquire the Chinese app, with a 45-day deadline imposed by President Trump.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.