Sun, 05 Apr 2020

Washington DC [USA], Feb 25 (ANI): The US administration is reportedly mulling expulsion of Chinese journalists after three Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) reporters based in China were ordered to leave the country last week over what Beijing termed a racist headline in an op-ed that apparently irked Chinese administration.

"This expulsion is yet another attempt to control the press, and prevent the world's readers as well as investors from reading important stories about China," said John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council as quoted in The Hill.

According to the New York Times, the decision comes in the backdrop of WSJ's decision to sack its Journal staff, in response to a headline on a Coronavirus opinion piece on February 3 which read: "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia."Following the expulsion, more than a dozen journalists at WSJ questioned the decision of the management in a letter that was sent to the top executive of the daily.

The South China Morning Post reported that the US administration's options were to be discussed in a meeting of senior administration leaders at the White House later Monday led by Matt Pottinger, the deputy national security adviser who was once a Wall Street Journal reporter in Beijing, according to US officials familiar with the deliberations.

Last week, China's foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang said, "The Chinese people do not welcome media that publish racist statements and maliciously attacks China."Journal's CEO and publisher, John Lewis had retorted to the government backlash by saying, "Our opinion pages regularly publish articles with opinions that people disagree--or agree--with and it was not our intention to cause offence with the headline on the piece."Meanwhile, the White House has so far refrained from commenting on whether they will respond to Beijing's decision to expel the journalists. (ANI)

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