Oct. 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has designated six more Chinese media companies operating in the United States as foreign missions.
"We're not placing any restrictions on what these outlets can publish in the United States," he said. "We simply want to ensure that American people, consumers of information, can differentiate between news written by a free press and propaganda distributed by the Chinese Communist Party itself."
The State Department in a statement listed the U.S. operations of Yicai Global, Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening News, Social Sciences in China Press, Beijing Review and Economic Daily as newly designated foreign missions.
"These six entities all meet the definition of a foreign mission under the Foreign Missions Act in that they are 'substantially owned or effectively controlled' by a foreign government," said Morgan Ortagus, the State Department spokeswoman. "In this case, they are effectively controlled by the government of the People's Republic of China."
The designation requires the companies to register with the United States as if they were an embassy or consulate and disclose to the Office of Foreign Missions within the State Department information about their employees, including where they live. It also requires them to get approval from the State Department before buying or leasing real estate.
The designation "simply recognizes them for what they are -- PRC-controlled propaganda outlets," said Ortagus.
Pompeo added during the press conference that he was meeting with Josep Borrell, the high representative of the European Union, on Friday when he will launch a U.S.-EU dialogue on China. Then on Sunday, he will be starting a tour of India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia, Pompeo said.
"I'm sure that my meetings will also include discussions on how free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party," Pompeo said.
The Trump administration has designated a total of 15 Chinese media organizations operating in the United States since February -- five on Feb. 18 and four on June 22. In March, Pompeo imposed a cap on the number of employees these Chinese state-run media could employ.
The moves have attracted harsh comments and retaliatory measures from China, including expelling journalists from several U.S. news organizations and ordering certain U.S. bureaus in the Asian nation to hand over information about their staff, finances, operations and real estate.