Hong Kong (CNN Business)The Chinese government announced Wednesday that it would revoke the press credentials of three Wall Street Journal reporters, the largest such expulsion of overseas media from the country in recent years.
Speaking at a press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the expulsion was due to an opinion piece published by the US news organization on February 3, entitled “China is the real sick man of Asia.”
“The editors used such a racially discriminatory title, triggering indignation and condemnation among the Chinese people and the international community,” Geng said.
“Regrettably, what the WSJ has done so far is nothing but parrying and dodging its responsibility. It has neither issued an official apology nor informed us of what it plans to do with the persons involved. … As such, it is decided that from today, the press cards of three WSJ journalists will be revoked.”
Chinese authorities have increasingly used visa restrictions to show displeasure with or exert pressure over foreign media in China. Numerous foreign journalists have been placed on on short-term visas instead of the standard one-year visa.
But it is highly unusual for an international journalist to be expelled from the country.
In an article about the expulsion on its website, the Wall Street Journal said its deputy bureau chief Josh Chin and reporters Chao Deng and Philip Wen had been given five days to leave the country.
Another Wall Street Journal reporter, Chun Han Wong, was effectively expelled from the country in August after the government declined to renew his press credentials following his co-authoring of a report on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s cousin.
Wednesday’s move comes less than one day after United States officials announced they would be treating five major Chinese state-run media companies as effective extensions of the Chinese government.
A senior State Department official said Tuesday th