China’s foreign ministry reported on Thursday that after criticizing Beijing’s decision to expel three Wall Street journalists, a U.S. embassy delegate was summoned to send a message to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
After the Journal published a column challenging Beijing’s treatment of the coronavirus outbreak, they forced the three reporters to leave China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the paper of prejudice over the article that was headlined, China is Asia’s Real Sick Man.
China vs US
After the expulsion of journalists. Pompeo posted on social media that “mature, responsible countries understand the facts and views of a free press.”
“The right answer is to pose counter-arguments, not limit speech. U.S. hopes the Chinese will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech as Americans enjoy,” Pompeo had said.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for foreign affairs on Wednesday, said Pompeo had misunderstood both right and wrong.
“The Chinese government has always maintained an open, clear and highly responsible approach towards the prevention and control of epidemics. The derogatory headline of the Wall Street Journal towards Beijing is not about freedom of speech and of the press at all. Anyone with a conscience would resolutely oppose and resist these racist wrong words and deeds.”
Some Beijing watchers have said Beijing is likely to want to retaliate against the US.
The US State Department named China’s five most influential state-run news organizations, Xinhua, China Daily. The People’s Daily, CGTN and China Radio as “internal missions” a day before the expulsion. On February 18, placing their staff in the same place as diplomats.
Also on Thursday, the head of the news department at the foreign ministry. Hua Chunying, warned of further action if the US tried to “harass” Chinese news agencies in America.
China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday. That over the column the Journal was in contact with the Chinese government and acknowledged its “mistake.”
When contacted by Reuters news agency, Toby Doman, spokesman for the paper’s publisher Dow Jones & Co declined to comment on the matter.