Chinese investment in US drops to lowest level since 2009

US tightens visa rules for Chinese journalists amid coronavirus tensions

China threatens countermeasures over US visa rule for Chinese journalists

U.S. investment in China increased slightly in 2019 to US$14 billion, up from US$13 billion a year earlier, according to the analysis.

The U.S. presidential campaign could also increase risks of a backlash against Chinese investment, said the report, even to acquisitions outside the scrutiny of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which has increasingly flexed its muscle against Chinese firms.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian addressed the US' decision to limit visas for Chinese journalists to a maximum of 90 days in a press conference on Monday.

Initial data indicates a "significant decline" in Chinese investment into the United States in the first months of 2020, said the report, with $200 million in newly announced direct investments compared with $2 billion on average per quarter a year ago. Reporters would only have to apply to extend the visa if they moved to a different company or type of reporting.

In February, China kicked out three journalists from The Wall Street Journal after the newspaper ran an opinion piece on the coronavirus crisis with a headline that Beijing called racist.

"Now they're using visas to take discriminatory limitations, severely disrupting the Chinese media's ability to report normally in the US, severely disrupting people-to-people relations between our two countries".

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"It's going to create greater national security protections", the official said.

Explaining the new visa rules, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday the measures were in response to Beijing's "suppression of independent journalism".

U.S. -China relations have sunk to a historic low amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Donald Trump has said the Chinese government's response was slow and inadequate. The COVID-19 strain originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan and has now spread worldwide, infecting more than 4.1 million people and killing more than 282,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

"We express our strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this wrong action by the USA side, which is an escalation of the political crackdown on Chinese media", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily press briefing.

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