China 'to retaliate' if U.S. acts against journalists

China is vowing to retaliate against the the United States if Washington continues, quote, "hostile action" against Chinese journalists - journalists who may be forced to leave in coming days if their U.S. visas aren't extended.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said no Chinese journalist in the United States has been granted a visa extension since the U.S., in mid-May, limited their stay to 90 days, with an option to extend.

Wang didn't say how many Chinese journalists were affected or what retaliation China might consider.

But the editor of China's Global Times newspaper -- which is published by the Communist Party -- said earlier that U.S. journalists based in Hong Kong would be among those targeted should Chinese journalists be forced to leave the United States.

The two countries, whose relations have deteriorated sharply recently over various issues including trade and the novel coronavirus, have exchanged several tit-for-tat actions involving journalists in recent months.

Such a move would also follow the recent closures of diplomatic consulates in both countries.