China hit out at what it called "biased" reporting on Friday in a frosty response to a request by three major U.S. newspapers to reverse the expulsion of several of their China-based journalists.
In an open letter to the Chinese government, the publishers of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post implored authorities to “let journalists do their work.”
From the letter:
We strongly urge the Chinese government to reverse its decision to force the Americans working for our news organizations to leave the country and, more broadly, to ease the growing crackdown on independent news organizations that preceded this action. The media is collateral damage in a diplomatic dispute between the Chinese and U.S. governments, threatening to deprive the world of critical information at a perilous moment.
The earliest reports on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and its rapid spread were brought to the outside world by the journalists who work for us in China, as well as their colleagues for other leading news organizations. We have sent our reporters to live for extended periods in the center of the outbreak to document the toll of the disease and the struggle to treat those afflicted with it. We have prominently featured news and analysis about China’s remarkable progress in reducing the spread of the virus through containment and mitigation. Even now, with some of our journalists facing imminent expulsion, they are reporting on how China is mobilizing state resources to develop vaccines that could offer hope to billions of people there and around the world.
China's Foreign Ministry responded in a statement posted on its website. “The Chinese people do not welcome reports that are not objective and not fair,” said the statement. “Faced with the escalating political suppression and discriminatory practices of the United States, do you expect China to be merely a ‘silent lamb'?”
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu extended a personal invitation on Saturday for three major U.S. newspapers to station on the island their China-based journalists whose expulsion Beijing has announced. https://t.co/YhjGa647S9— The China Hegemony Daily (@BoycottHegemony) March 28, 2020
Beijing announced this month that US journalists set to be ousted from China will not be able to work in #HongKong.— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) March 27, 2020
When asked by HKFP how the city could bar permanent residents from the journalism profession, Lam evaded the question saying the gov't will follow the law.
China Bans 5 US Media Outlets and Expels Foreign Journalists https://t.co/mmDJZ3wO7Y— Matt Couch 🎙 (@RealMattCouch) March 28, 2020