China Says It Will Expel American Journalists From The Country

GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
Font Size:

China announced Tuesday that it will expel American journalists who work for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post from the country.

The country also demanded that the three publications, as well as Voice of America and Time magazine, hand over information about their operations to the Chinese government, according to the NYT.

“We unequivocally condemn any action by China to expel U.S. reporters,” Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “The Chinese government’s decision is particularly regrettable because it comes in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis, when clear and reliable information about the international response to covid-19 is essential. Severely limiting the flow of that information, which China now seeks to do, only aggravates the situation.”

American journalists who had press credentials “due to expire before the end of 2020” were ordered by China to “notify the Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within four calendar days starting from today and hand back their press cards within ten calendar days,” the NYT reported.

The American journalists currently working in China will also not be allowed to work in their current roles in Hong Kong or Macao Special Administrative Regions, the notice read. The order comes after the Trump administration previously announced restrictions on the number of Chinese citizens allowed to work for five state-controlled Chinese news organizations in the U.S.

These measures, taken by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “are entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organizations experience in the U.S.,” according to a translated statement from a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, the NYT reported.

“They are legitimate and justified self-defense in every sense,” the statement continued. “What the U.S. has done is exclusively targeting Chinese media organizations, and hence driven by a Cold War mentality and ideological bias.”

After the Trump administration’s announcement March 3 regarding its additional regulations, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying tweeted, “let’s play.” The U.S. limited Chinese reporters working for specific state-run publications in the U.S. to 100.

The NYT, WSJ and WaPo are currently blocked online in the country, according to the NYT, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller. China’s announcement comes as the novel coronavirus, which began in the country, continues to spread across the world.

The country has tried to blame the U.S. for introducing the virus into Wuhan. (RELATED: Chinese Official Blames US For Introducing Coronavirus To Wuhan, Says US ‘Owes Us An Explanation’)