Daily US Times, Beijing: China expels three Wall Street Journal journalist from the country over an opinion piece it said was “racist”.
The article which was published on February 3, criticized the country’s response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The foreign ministry of China said it had asked the Wall Street Journal to apologize several times but it had declined.
The journalist though did not write the op-ed. Chinese authorities gave them five days to leave the country. The op-ed criticized Chinese authorities’ initial response of coronavirus outbreak as “secretive and self-serving” and said global confidence in China had been “shaken”.
The decision came just a day after the US State Department tightened rules on Chinese state media organizations operating in the US, classifying them as foreign missions.
The US State Department asked five outlets including state-run Xinhua news agency and the China Global Television Network that they had to submit lists of all employees, but there would be no restriction on their reporting.
Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the article was “racist” and “denigrated” China’s efforts to combat the outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people in the country.
“The Chinese people do not welcome media that publish racist statements and maliciously attacks China,” he said without naming the expelled journalists.
WSJ confirmed the reporters as two US citizens – Josh Chin, who is the deputy bureau chief, and Chao Deng – as well as Australian citizen Philip Wen, but the newspaper did not make any comment on the matter yet.
Last year, China declined to renew the credentials of another Wall Street Journal reporter. The credentials are needed for the work of foreign journalists in the country.
And in 2018, the Beijing bureau chief for BuzzFeed News Megha Rajagopalan was unable to renew her visa after reporting on the detention of China’s Muslim minority group Uighurs and others in China’s Xinjiang region.
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