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China accuses US of taking journalists as 'hostages' as reporters face possible expulsion
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BEIJING (AP) — China is delaying the renewal of press cards for at least five journalists working at four U.S. media outlets, an organization of foreign correspondents said Monday, making them vulnerable to expulsion in apparent retribution for Washington's targeting of Chinese reporters working in the United States.
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China's foreign ministry responded by saying applications for renewal were being processed and those reporters involved would not have their lives in China "affected in any way."
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However, ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian also accused the U.S. of being "arrogant and unreasonable" in talks about the matter and "not addressing China's normal and reasonable concerns and demands at all."
"If the U.S. government truly cares about American journalists, it should extend visas for all Chinese journalists as soon as possible, instead of taking journalists from the two countries as hostages for the certain politicians' political interests," Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing.