China on Wednesday said it has revoked the press credentials of three reporters for the U.S. newspaper Wall Street Journal over a headline for an opinion column deemed racist by the government.
The expulsions come after the Trump administration on Tuesday designated five state-run Chinese news outlets that operate in the United States as “foreign missions,” requiring them to register their properties and employees in the U.S. China said it reserves the right to respond to what it called a mistaken policy.
The headline on the Journal’s opinion column referred to the current virus outbreak in China and called the country the “Real Sick Man of Asia.”
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Feb. 3 op-ed by Bard College Professor Walter Russel Mead “smears the efforts of the Chinese government and people on fighting (the virus) epidemic.”
“The editors used such a racially discriminatory title, triggering indignation and condemnation among the Chinese people and the international community,” he said in a statement.
He said the expulsions came after the Journal refused demands to “make an official apology and hold the persons involved accountable.”
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