US to Treat Chinese Media Outlets as ‘Foreign Missions’

State Dept says outlets are 'effectively controlled' by China

The US State Department has announced that they will require five Chinese media outlets with operations in the United States to register all personnel and property with the US government and will be treating them as additional foreign missions.

The Foreign Missions Act allows the US to demand large amounts of additional reporting from “foreign missions” compared to ordinary media outlets, and allows the Secretary of State to force them to divest certain property if it is believed to be in the “interests of the United States.”

Considering US diplomatic ties with China are not ideal, it is also possible that the Administration can use this as leverage, expelling Chinese media outlets in a way that would ordinarily be akin to closing a consulate.

The media outlets are China Global Television, China Radio, the parent companies of two large newspapers, and Xinhua News Agency. These are all effectively state media, in as much as they all tend to ultimately be owned by the Chinese government. Still, it is rare for foreign state media to be restricted in this manner.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of