China warns US in Wall Street Journal expulsion row

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China’s overseas ministry confirmed on Thursday that it summoned a United States embassy consultant to ship a message to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after his condemnation of Beijing’s move to expel three Wall Street journalists.

The three reporters have been compelled to depart China after the Journal revealed a column that questioned China’s dealing with of the coronavirus outbreak and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the paper of racism over the piece which was headlined, China is the Real Sick Man of Asia.

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Following the journalists’ expulsion, Pompeo posted on social media that “mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions”.

“The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech. The United States hopes that the Chinese people will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech that Americans enjoy,” Pompeo had mentioned.

On Wednesday, Zhao Lijian, a overseas affairs spokesperson, mentioned Pompeo had utterly confused proper and flawed.

“The Chinese government has always adhered to an open, transparent and highly responsible attitude in the prevention and control of epidemics. The Wall Street Journal’s insulting headline against China is not about freedom of speech and the press at all. Anyone with a conscience should resolutely oppose and resist such racist wrong words and deeds.”

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Some China watchers, nonetheless, mentioned that Beijing most likely wished to retaliate in opposition to the US.

A day earlier than the expulsion on February 18, the US State Department designated China’s 5 most distinguished state-run information organisations, Xinhua, China Daily, The People’s Daily, CGTN and China Radio as “foreign missions”, placing their workers in the identical place as diplomats.

The head of the overseas ministry’s information division, Hua Chunying, additionally warned on Thursday of additional motion if the United States continued to “harass” Chinese information companies in America, based on a press release from the ministry.

On Wednesday, China’s overseas ministry had mentioned that the Journal had been in contact with the Chinese authorities over the column, and admitted its “mistake”.

Toby Doman, spokesman for the paper’s writer Dow Jones & Co, nonetheless, declined to touch upon the problem when contacted by Reuters information company.