This is being called the largest expulsion of overseas media from the country.
The Chinese government announced Wednesday that it would revoke the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the expulsion was due to an opinion piece published by the U.S. news organization on February 3. The article was titled “China is the real sick man of Asia.”
The article contained racially discriminatory titles, and provoked resentment and criticism among the Chinese people as well as international audiences.
Shuang went on to say that the WSJ has not issued any kind of apology, let alone take responsibility.
In recent years, Chinese authorities have increasingly used visa restrictions to show their displeasure over foreign media. Instead of being able to obtain the standard one-year visa, foreign journalists have had to obtain a short-term visa. Even so, it has been more than three decades since the last foreign journalist was expelled from China.
The WSJ published an article about the expulsion on its website, revealing that its deputy bureau chief Josh Chin and reporters Chao Deng and Philip Wen were given five days to leave the country. Wall Street Journal reporter Chun Han Wong was expelled from the country in August last year after the government did not renew his press credentials. Wong had co-authored a report on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s cousin.
The expulsion came after United States officials announced that they would treat Chinese state media as extensions of Beijing’s government. In other words, the Chinese media companies would need to comply with rules governing foreign embassies and consulates.