Donald Trump Xi Jinping
(Image: AP/Susan Walsh)

A bold declaration from the US government was made this week: five Chinese news agencies have been listed as "operatives" of the Chinese state.

It was a move that has been debated in Washington for years, taking the heavy hand of Donald Trump to enact.

One of these newly-designated outlets is China Daily, a newspaper distributed monthly in Nine’s Australian Financial Review, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald