Two Wall Street Journals have left China on February 24 after Chinese foreign ministry ordered an expulsion over the reporters over “racially discriminatory” headline. According to reports, three reporters of the publication were ordered to leave the country last week and were given five days even though they were not involved in writing the headline of the article.
This has also marked one of the harshest moves against the foreign media in several years. However, analysts have acknowledged the decision to revoke their credentials came a day after the United States had tightened the rules on Chinese state media operating in the US. Therefore, it has raised suspicion of Beijing's retaliation.
The Journal's piece was headlined as “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia” and was written by an American professor who criticised the initial measures taken by the Chinese government where the deadly coronavirus outbreak started. Since the newspaper did not apologise for what Beijing has called “discriminatory”, thee press cards of all three China-based reporters have been revoked. The US-based Josh Chin and Chao Deng, along with Australia-based Philip Wen were given less than a week to leave the nation.
All three journalists apparently work for the newspaper's news section which is not linked to the editorial and opinion pages. However, reportedly 53 Journal reporters and editors had called for the leadership of the newspaper to apologise. Other major international publications also called the headline as “derogatory”. A reporter of international news agency had seen both, Chin and Wen check-in the flight at Beijing's main international airport while wearing face masks on Monday and passing the security.
Meanwhile, Deng had been reporting from the Chinese province of Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak which has now claimed more than 2,500 lives. However, the reporter of international news agency has confirmed that he is still in the quarantined city. However, the Wall Street Journal had issued an official statement saying that it was “deeply disappointed” with the decision of the Chinese government.