A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson is doubling down on U.S. condemnation for the Chinese Communist Party’s ousting of foreign journalists who attempted to go to the source of the coronavirus pandemic to publicly expose the truth.
The open letter by @WSJ @washingtonpost @nytimes was wrongly addressed. It should be sent to the US government. When the US government announced to expel 60 Chinese journalists on March 2, did anyone speak out?
— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) March 25, 2020
“The open letter by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times was wrongly addressed. It should be sent to the US government.” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying wrote on Twitter Wednesday, “When the US government announced to expel 60 Chinese journalists on March 2, did anyone speak out?”
The Trump administration’s expulsion of 60 Chinese journalists earlier this month was a response to China’s “increasingly harsh surveillance, harassment, and intimidation” of foreign reporters, according to the State Department. The group was comprised of journalists who worked for Chinese outlets that were deemed “foreign missions of the People’s Republic of China.”
“Our goal is reciprocity,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said of the move. “As we have done in other areas of the U.S.-China relationship, we seek to establish a long-overdue level playing field. It is our hope that this action will spur Beijing to adopt a more fair and reciprocal approach to U.S. and other foreign press in China.”
The move came about a month after China expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters, which the Chinese Foreign Ministry said was punishment for their publishing of an editorial titled, “China is the real sick man of Asia.” Since then, the situation has become increasingly worse for foreign journalists reporting in China.
Last week, the Chinese government ordered all U.S. journalists out of the country giving them only 10 days to leave. Publishers from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post denounced the move and addressed the necessity to have “on-the-ground reporting,” in a joint letter to the Chinese government published Tuesday.
“Our news organizations are rivals. We compete with each other on the biggest stories, including this one. But on this matter, we speak with a single voice.” the publishers wrote in their letter.
“Both countries — and the rest of the world — benefit from having talented journalists, many of them fluent in Chinese and versed in Chinese culture, cover the world’s second largest economy, the center of global manufacturing, and, unfortunately, a population hard hit by one of the worst pandemics of modern times. Even when this crisis passes we believe both countries will continue to benefit from freer access to news and information about the other.”
“Amid tensions between superpowers, journalism bolsters strong, confident societies by providing to leaders and citizens important information and awareness to inform their lives and decisions — even, perhaps especially, when it is challenging to governments. We believe it is unambiguously in the interests of the people of both countries, as well as their leaders, to let journalists do their work,” the letter concluded.