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Possible US response to China expelling WSJ reporters

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United States is considering the possibility of expelling Chinese journalists in response to the denial of accreditation of three journalists of the American edition of the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg reported, citing informed sources.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry revoked the accreditation of three journalists from the Wall Street Journal because of an article on the coronavirus “China is a real Asian patient.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the article discredited the efforts of the Chinese government and people in the fight against the epidemic, and the newspaper’s editors also gave it “a sensational racist headline, which caused extreme indignation of the Chinese people and condemnation of the international community.”

According to the agency, it was planned to discuss possible responses in the White House at a meeting of senior administration officials led by Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger, who was previously a WSJ journalist in Beijing.

According to the agency, there is an active discussion about how severe the response should be. According to him, some advocate the expulsion of dozens or even hundreds of Chinese journalists, while others claim that it is legally impossible or does not comply with American values ​​regarding freedom of the press.

“This expulsion is another attempt to control the press and prevent readers from all over the world and investors from reading important messages about China,” said John Ulliott, spokesman for the US National Security Council. According to the agency, although Ulliott declined to comment on the specific measures under consideration, he said that this step by China is a “egregious act.”

Early US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a published statement said that the US condemns the expulsion of three Chinese American journalists edition. In turn, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Gen Shuang, said that canceling the accreditation of three correspondents of the Wall Street Journal due to an insulting article is not a matter of freedom of speech, as Pompeo says.

A February 3 Wall Street Journal article focuses on China’s efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic and attempt to revive the country’s economy. The authors of the article criticize the Chinese authorities for the “far from impressive” initial response to the outbreak.

Against the backdrop of closing factories and cities, the newspaper writes, “confidence in the Chinese Communist Party has shaken both within the country and beyond.” The publication predicts that the consequences of the epidemic will be, above all, economic. In the near future, China expects a sharp decline in economic growth, in the future – the global trend among global companies to “decapitate” their supply chains, WSJ said.

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