Editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said on Twitter that the Chinese authorities are taking into account that all Chinese journalists should leave the US now that the US no longer renews visas. “If that’s the case, China will retaliate, including hitting American journalists in Hong Kong,” said Hu, who is known as a reliable predictor of the Chinese government’s moves. The medium that he directs falls under the Communist Party party newspaper.
The United States Department of State does not comment. If the Chinese authorities are indeed deporting American journalists, that is a repeat of moves. After the US introduced visa restrictions on Chinese journalists, Beijing expelled 12 American journalists in February, including three reporters from The Wall Street Journal. Subsequently, the Trump administration again decided to order all Chinese state media, including the Xinhua news agency, to halve their occupation in the US.
Hong Kong, which traditionally has its own migration policy, has traditionally had no journalist visas, unlike China. However, the independence of the former British crown colony is increasingly undermined by China. If China decides to deport American journalists to Hong Kong, tensions between the two superpowers are expected to mount. Hu previously warned that the visas of several Chinese journalists in the US expire on Thursday and that they have not yet been extended. China will respond “vehemently,” Hu wrote on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.