China, US Media Dispute Heats Up As Beijing Expels Three Reporters

February 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
China US Reporters Credentials

China expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters Wednesday saying it was revoking their credentials due to a headline that appeared above an opinion column two weeks ago.

The expulsions came less than 24 hours after the Trump administration designated five state-run Chinese news outlets that operate in the United States as “foreign missions,” requiring them to register their properties and employees in the U.S.

Washington said it determined the five outlets are directly controlled by the Chinese government and Chinese Communist Party, according to State Department officials.

The five are China’s official Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, the China Daily Distribution Corporation, which distributes the newspaper of the same name, and Hai Tian Development USA, which distributes the People’s Daily newspaper, the officials said.

China said it reserved the right to respond to what it called a mistaken policy, and the response appeared to be unfolding Wednesday with the nation’s broadside aimed at the Journal.

The Chinese government is upset about a Feb. 3 op-ed by Bard College Professor Walter Russel Mead that referred to the current virus outbreak in China and called the country the “Real Sick Man of Asia.”

In a statement, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the headline “smears the efforts of the Chinese government and people on fighting (the virus) epidemic.”

“The editors used such a racially discriminatory title, triggering indignation and condemnation among the Chinese people and the international community,” he continued.

He said the expulsions came after the Journal refused demands to “make an official apology and hold the persons involved accountable.”

The term “sick man of Asia” was originally used to describe China more than a century ago when it suffered internal divisions and was forced to accept unequal treaties with Western powers.

The Journal identified the three expelled journalists as Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin, reporter Chao Deng — both U.S. citizens — and reporter Philip Wen, an Australian. They have been given five days to leave the country.

Like most foreign media, the Wall Street Journal is unavailable within China and its website and stories are blocked by online censors.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China issued a statement expressing “deep concern and strong condemnation” of the Chinese move. It pointed out that none of the three reporters had any involvement with the opinion piece or its headline.

“The action taken against The Journal correspondents is an extreme and obvious attempt by the Chinese authorities to intimidate foreign news organizations by taking retribution against their China-based correspondents,” the statement said. It said the expulsions are the latest case of growing “harassment, surveillance and intimidation from authorities.”

In an opinion piece on its website, the Global Times newspaper published by the ruling Communist Party said the expulsions and Washington’s actions against the five Chinese media outlets were “not entirely coincidental” and implied a strong connection between the two.

“Taken together, they reflect that the ideological clash between the U.S. and China is intensifying,” the newspaper said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Geopolitics

Checking China’s Diplomatic Piracy in the South China Sea
Foreign Affairs
Checking China’s Diplomatic Piracy in the South China Sea
September 18, 2020
by Craig Singleton

China appears keen to bring piracy back as an instrument of foreign policy, but the days of eye patches and wooden legs are long gone. Instead, Beijing’s most effective raiding parties prefer business suits and briefcases, thus allowing them to ransack and plunder under the guise... Read More

Trump Vote-Rigging Claims Fit Russia’s Plan, Former Top Spy Says
2020 Elections
Trump Vote-Rigging Claims Fit Russia’s Plan, Former Top Spy Says

President Donald Trump is playing into Russia’s hands by claiming that his political adversaries are trying to rig the U.S. election, a former senior intelligence official said. Sue Gordon, who left the second-highest post in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence a year ago,... Read More

Whistleblower Says Trump Aides Suppressed Russia Evidence
2016 U.S. Election
Whistleblower Says Trump Aides Suppressed Russia Evidence

WASHINGTON — Trump administration appointees suppressed intelligence on Russian election interference and the threat from white supremacists, according to a whistleblower complaint filed by the Department of Homeland Security’s former intelligence chief. The complaint by Brian Murphy alleges interference from officials including Acting DHS Secretary Chad... Read More

Japan PM Shinzo Abe Says He's Resigning for Health Reasons
Foreign Affairs
Japan PM Shinzo Abe Says He's Resigning for Health Reasons

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said Friday he is stepping down because a chronic health problem has resurfaced. He told reporters that it was “gut wrenching” to leave many of his goals unfinished. Abe has had ulcerative colitis since he was a... Read More

Russian Navy Conducts Major Maneuvers Near Alaska
Geopolitics
Russian Navy Conducts Major Maneuvers Near Alaska

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian navy conducted major war games near Alaska involving dozens of ships and aircraft, the military said Friday, the biggest such drills in the area since Soviet times. Russia's navy chief, Adm. Nikolai Yevmenov, said that more than 50 warships and about... Read More

US Demands Restoration of UN Sanctions Against Iran
Geopolitics
US Demands Restoration of UN Sanctions Against Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is set to demand the restoration of all international sanctions on Iran in a move that will further isolate the U.S. at the United Nations, test the credibility of the U.N. Security Council and possibly deal a fatal blow to... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top