China has prepared for a "worst-case scenario" in which all Chinese journalists will be forced to leave the US, in which case Beijing will retaliate, including against Hong Kong-based American journalists, according to Hu Xijin, chief editor of Global Times.
“From what I know, given that the US side hasn’t renewed visa of Chinese journalists, Chinese side has prepared for the worst scenario that all Chinese journalists have to leave the US. If that’s the case, Chinese side will retaliate, including targeting US journalists based in HK [Hong Kong],” Hu wrote on Twitter.
Controversy has intensified this year between the US and China over media coverage of COVID-19. The US has demanded that a number of Chinese state-run media outlets reduce the number of their journalists working on American soil, thus leading to the expulsion of 60 Chinese media workers from the country.