As U.S. -China tensions wind ever tighter in the march toward the U.S. November presidential election, Stilwell told reporters that China Central Television, the China News Service, the People's Daily, and the Global Times will all be officially recognized as "propaganda outlets" controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
"It simply recognizes them for what they are", she said, adding that the move "increases transparency relating to the CCP and PRC government's media activities in the United States".
In February, the administration said it would treat five Chinese state-run outlets with US operations the same as embassies: Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corp., and Hai Tian Development USA, Inc.
In February the State Department declared five other Chinese outlets as foreign embassies, a designation that requires the outlets to inform the U.S. State Department of their personnel rosters and real-estate holdings.
In February, after the United States designated the first five Chinese news organizations as foreign agents, and after a move by China to expel three journalists for The Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration imposed visa quotas the Chinese outlets, The Times reported.
Since February, the USA and China have made clear attempts to suppress Chinese and U.S. news organizations from reporting in the other's country.
Over the weekend, President Trump referred to coronavirus as "Kung Flu".
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The telephone briefing on press freedoms in China and the United States turned testy when a Reuters reporter tried to ask Stilwell a question about Bolton's book and the administration's China policy.
Working conditions for global journalists in China have "markedly deteriorated", according to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.
China had no immediate reaction to the announcement but the foreign ministry accused the administration of harbouring a "Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice" when it applied the same designation to five media organizations earlier this year.
One Chinese official, Lijian Zhao, falsely accused the U.S. Army in March of introducing the coronavirus to China a year ago. In response, China expelled American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Voice of America and Time Magazine.