China threatened Tuesday to retaliate against US "bullying" after Washington imposed staff cuts on Chinese state media, two weeks after expelling three Wall Street Journal reporters. The US said its decision Monday to require Beijing's state-run media to cut the number of Chinese nationals employed in the US was based on levelling numbers between the countries rather than hitting back over content. Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China "strongly opposes and condemns" the US announcement, adding that it effectively means the expulsion of Chinese journalists. "Out of a Cold War mindset and ideological bias, the US State Department uses groundless reasons to politically oppress Chinese media organisations based in the US," Zhao said at a regular press briefing. He said the move exposes "the hypocrisy of the United States' so-called freedom of the press as blatant double standard and hegemonic bullying". Saying China reserves the right to react and take further action, Zhao added: "It was the US who broke the rules of the game first, China can only follow suit."... China on February 19 ordered three reporters from The Wall Street Journal -- two US nationals and an Australian -- out of the country in its harshest move against international media in years.
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