China expels American journalists as spat with US escalates, Latest World News - The New Paper

China expels American journalists as spat with US escalates

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BEIJING/WASHINGTON/NEW YORK : China is withdrawing the press credentials of American journalists at three US newspapers, intensifying a bitter fight between the world's top two economies that has widened to include the coronavirus outbreak and media freedom.

Beijing announced yesterday what it said was retaliation against US restrictions on Chinese journalists.

It revoked the accreditation of American correspondents for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

The move is a sharp escalation of a dispute that saw Washington last month force Chinese state media firms to register as foreign embassies.

Beijing then expelled three Wall Street Journal correspondents - two Americans and an Australian - after an opinion column in the newspaper that called China the "real sick man of Asia".

This was followed by Washington slashing the number of journalists permitted to work in the US at four major Chinese state-owned media outlets to 100, from 160 previously.

It cited a "deepening crackdown" on independent reporting inside China.


Beijing said the expelled journalists would not be permitted to work in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau. It said they must hand back their press cards within 10 days.

The expulsion is expected to affect at least 13 journalists, according to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China, which "deplores" China's decision.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how many journalists are affected.

Beijing said the China branches of the three papers plus the Voice of America broadcaster and Time magazine must "declare in written form information about their staff, finance, operation and real estate in China".

The latest development follows a war of words between Washington and Beijing over the pandemic.

The virus has infected more than 180,000 people and killed almost 8,000 globally.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Beijing's move yesterday would deprive the world and the Chinese people of information in "incredibly challenging" times brought about by the virus. - REUTERS