U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the course of a signing ceremony for the U.S.-China “phase-one” trade agreement in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.

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The Trump administration on Monday reported it is imposing a cap on “the number of Chinese citizens permitted to do the job” for  China’s big condition-operate media businesses in the U.S. “at any specified time.”

“Nowadays, we announced a staff cap on Chinese government-controlled media businesses in the United States,” Secretary of Condition Mike Pompeo explained in a tweet Monday. “We urge Beijing to regard independence of expression and will continue to request reciprocity throughout the bilateral marriage.”

The cap comes months soon after China revoked the push credentials of a few Wall Street Journal reporters centered in Beijing, a move that sparked fury from White House officers. 

The reporters ended up expelled immediately after outrage in China above an view piece printed in the Journal whose headline referred to China as “the authentic ill gentleman of Asia,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang explained for the duration of a information briefing on Feb. 19. 

The go marked the initially time since the period of Mao Zedong that China has expelled a number of journalists from one global news firm at the same time, according to the Journal.

“Our goal is reciprocity. As we have accomplished in other locations of the U.S.-China marriage, we search for to establish a extensive-overdue level playing industry,” Pompeo claimed in a statement to CNBC about the cap. “It is our hope that this motion will spur Beijing to undertake a far more honest and reciprocal technique to U.S. and other foreign press in China.”

“We urge the Chinese government to straight away uphold its global commitments to respect independence of expression, which include for members of the press,” Pompeo additional. 

The State Office cap will cut the selection of Chinese nationals doing work for the condition-operate media corporations in the United States to 100 workers down from 160, in accordance to the Wall Avenue Journal.

Previous month, the Chinese outlets were being specified as international missions by the White Property, which means that none of the shops will be regarded as an impartial information firm in the place. 

The go to impose a cap may escalate presently-present tensions amongst the United States and China, which appear as the lethal coronavirus outbreak carries on to unfold globally. 

The Chinese International Ministry did not respond to a request for remark from CNBC.

CNBC’s Amanda Macias and Kevin Breuninger contributed to this report.

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