The Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) of the US State Department announced Tuesday that five Chinese state-run media organizations will be designated as foreign missions, including the Xinhua News Agency; China Global Television Network, which falls under China Central Television, CCTV; China Radio International; China Daily Distribution Corporation; and Hai Tian Development USA, which is the distributor for the People’s Daily in the US.
According to one State Department official, this decision was “based on the very indisputable fact that all five of these are subject to the control of the Chinese Government.” He further stated that while the Chinese Communist Party has always had “a pretty tight rein on media in general and state-run media in particular,” the regulation “has only further tightened since Xi Jinping took over,” citing one of Xi’s remarks on the matter: “managing China’s media messaging is crucial for the future and fate of the Chinese Communist Party and the state.”
Another official from the State Department clarified that the designation of these five entities does not grant them a position similar to “embassies or consulates or have traditional diplomatic privileges or immunities.” Instead, they have to satisfy two specific requirements. First, they must notify OFM of their current personnel in the US and basic information about those individuals, including those who are US citizens. Second, they must notify OFM of their current real property holdings and obtain prior approval from OFM if they wish to purchase or lease any new real property.