The expulsion of the journalists comes after an editorial, written by Walter Russell Mead, suggested that the Chinese government is “trying to conceal the true scale” of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry stated on Thursday that media outlets, who spread racial discrimination and smear the country must “pay the price” while addressing the revocation of WSJ journalists’ press credentials.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stressed China was not interested in the division of labour at The Wall Street Journal as he has commented on why Beijing is acting against the paper’s journalists, who were not involved in the publication of a controversial opinion column.
“There is only one media agency called the WSJ (Wall Street Journal), and it must be responsible for what it has said and done”, he said.
The official also stated that China reserves the right to take further action against the WSJ.
The move comes after Washington designated 5 media outlets as agents of the Chinese government, requiring them to register their employees and US properties with the State Department. The list included the Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the designation was “long overdue”, calling the media outlets in question “mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party”.