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China protests US allegations of censorship over The Wall Street Journal

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) —Chinese authorities have protested the statement by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo about the restriction of freedom of speech in China due to the situation with journalists of the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal. 

This was announced on Wednesday at a briefing by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China Zhao Lijian.

On February 19, the Chinese government decided to revoke the accreditation of three correspondents for The Wall Street Journal in Beijing due to the newspaper publishing an article by American professor Walter Russell Mead from Bard College under the heading “China is a real Asian patient,” which the Chinese authorities considered offensive.

“While the Chinese people are struggling with the spread of a new type of coronavirus, Mr. Pompeo once again criticizes China,” Zhao Lijiang quotes the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. “We strongly protest against such actions.” He also added that “the publication of The Wall Street Journal ’s offensive article has nothing to do with freedom of speech and the press.”

Earlier, Pompeo expressed the opinion that in the situation with the cancellation of the accreditation of journalists “the right answer is to provide counterarguments, and not limit [freedom] of speech.”

According to Zhao Lijiang, The Wall Street Journal admitted its mistake in publishing an article offensive to China, but did not respond to the demands of the Chinese side and did not apologize.