Published: Wed, February 19, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

China revokes 3 Wall Street Journal reporters' credentials

China revokes 3 Wall Street Journal reporters' credentials

In the op-ed in question, Walter Russel Mead, an expert at the Washington-based Hudson Institute, called Beijing's response to the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak "less than impressive" and suggested that "the mighty Chinese juggernaut has been humbled" by the disease.

The "sick man of Asia" is a 19th-century term that referred to a time when China was internally divided and exploited by foreign powers - a period that still deeply humiliates the country's leadership.

The three reporters work in the Journal's news section, which is not tied to the editorial and opinion section of the news outlet. The journalists whose press credentials were revoked are Josh Chin, an American citizen and WJS's deputy bureau chief in Beijing, along with Chao Deng, also an American national, and Philip Wen, an Australian citizen. There have been three deaths reported outside of China, bringing the worldwide death toll to 2,009, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a global health emergency.

Another Wall Street Journal reporter, Chun Han Wong, was effectively expelled a year ago after he wrote an article about a relative of President Xi Jinping.

The Trump administration said on Tuesday it will begin treating five major Chinese state-run media entities with US operations including Xinhua News Agency and China Global Television network China Daily Distribution Corp the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and USA properties with the State Department.

China is known for its heavy media control and monitoring of foreign press.

The Journal identified the three journalists as Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin, reporter Chao Deng - both US citizens - and reporter Philip Wen, an Australian.

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In August, China refused to renew the press credentials of WSJ journalist Chun Han Wong, after he and Wen wrote an article on one of Chinese President Xi Jinping's cousins.

Without directly linking the expulsions to the United States move, Geng said China has made a decision to revoke the press cards (accreditation) of three WSJ journalists as the daily has not apologised to racist headline it carried recently.

China's foreign ministry denounced the US designation on Wednesday, saying the country's media outlets helped promote understanding and adding that Beijing would "reserve the right" to retaliate.

"As such, China has decided that from today, the press cards of three Wall Street Journal reporters in Beijing will be revoked", Geng told a press briefing.

The statement further said that its members and their colleagues in that country "are suffering from an increasing frequency of harassment, surveillance and intimidation from authorities". In 1998, two journalists - one Japanese, the other German - were expelled for allegedly possessing state secrets.

The change will mean that the media companies will now need US government approval to buy or lease office space in the US and will have to register personnel changes with the US State Department. "It continues to adhere to its arrogance and prejudice", the opinion piece said.

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