Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, stated that the United States is deeply concerned by “increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment and intimidation” of foreign journalists covering recent floodings in China’s Henan Province.

Price stated in a statement that China’s harsh rhetoric towards news it considers critical “has caused negative public sentiment leading to tension, in-person confrontations, and harassment” of journalists.

Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign minister spokesperson, stated that the United States is distorting facts. He also said that it had “double standards” and had taken measures against Chinese journalists.

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Both countries exchanged a number of tit-for–tat actions regarding media organisations. China expelled several U.S. journalist and the United States reduced the number of Chinese nationals permitted to work in U.S.-owned media offices.