On Monday, Feb. 24, a White House National Security Council (NSC) spokesman announced that several measures are being considered in response to China’s “heinous act” of expelling three American journalists from the country last week.
The NSC’s director of strategic communications, John Ullyot, emphatically rejected the way China withdrew the credentials of the three Wall Street Journal correspondents, leading to their eventual eviction from the country because of an opinion piece in the paper that China called “racist,” The Washington Times reported.
The determinations of the Chinese regime came after it tried to contact the Wall Street Journal to demand its apology and to carry out an investigation against those responsible who published a column on Feb. 3 that qualified China as “The Real Sick Man of Asia,” in relation to the issue of the coronavirus.
Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese foreign minister, criticized the opinion article and also called it “an attack on the country.” The official said, “Regrettably, what the Wall Street Journal has done so far is nothing but parrying and dodging its responsibility. (…) The Chinese people do not welcome those media that speak racially discriminatory language and maliciously slander and attack China,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Ullyot said the United States was considering a variety of responses to the atrocious act in Beijing. The White House spokesman also said the Chinese action was “another attempt to control the press, and prevent the world’s readers as well as investors from reading important stories about China.”
The Chinese regime’s censorship of foreign reporters may even reach out to the same citizens who advocate informing the world about the situation in China, and more particularly in Wuhan, since the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Chen Qiushi, is a young journalist who became a victim of disappearance by the communist regime after he managed to enter the epicenter city of the virus to document the horror that its citizens were experiencing, defying the controlled and biased reports of the official media.
Meanwhile, according to Reuters, on Monday several U.S. officials spoke about the possibility of holding a meeting that would take place the same day at the White House, which would be chaired by Matt Pottinger, assistant national security adviser and former Wall Street Journal and Reuters reporter in Beijing.
According to the meeting’s report, several U.S. officials agreed to order the expulsion of dozens of Chinese journalists from the United States, but other officials present argued that such a move could not be made under press freedom laws.
According to The Washington Times, the State Department had earlier placed new restrictions on five Chinese state media operating in the United States, including Xinhua News, claiming that they would be treated the same as foreign state missions because of their link to the regime.