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         China bans US nationals working for NYT, WSJ and Washington Post

         US and China trade barbs over coronavirus



China bans US nationals working for NYT, WSJ and Washington Post


Elizabeth Law, China Correspondent, The Straits Times (Singapore)

Mar 17, 2020


BEIJING - China on Wednesday (March 18) announced the effective expulsion of American journalists working for three United States media outlets, in retaliation to Washington's controls on Chinese journalists.


In a statement put up shortly after midnight, China's foreign ministry said journalists at the New York Times (NYT), Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Washington Post (WaPo) whose press credentials expire in 2020 will have 10 days to surrender their press cards. They will no longer be allowed to work in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau.


The NYT, WSJ, WaPo, Voice of America and Time magazine will also have to declare information about their "staff, finance, operation and real estate" in China.


The foreign ministry said this was in response to Washington cutting the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work for state-run media outlets in the US and the re-designation of these outlets as "foreign missions".


"The above-mentioned measures are entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to take in response to the unreasonable oppression the Chinese media organisations experience in the US," the statement said.


"They are legitimate and justified self-defence in every sense."


Earlier this month, the US said five media outlets - state news agency Xinhua, broadcaster China Global Television Network, China Daily, China Radio International and People's Daily - were considered foreign missions, and staff would be subject to the same rules as diplomats based in the country.


From last Friday, the outlets would also be allowed to employ a maximum of 100 Chinese nationals, down from 160.


While the US was not explicitly expelling the other 60 staff members - they can technically seek other employment - most are expected to have to leave the country...





US and China trade barbs over coronavirus


Sebastien Ricci with Shaun Tandon in Washington, AFP

via Yahoo News - March 17, 2020


Beijing (AFP) - A spat between the US and China over the novel coronavirus escalated on Tuesday as President Donald Trump angered Beijing by referring to the pathogen as the "Chinese Virus."


The two countries have sparred over the origin of the virus for days, with a Chinese official promoting conspiracy theories claiming it was brought to China by the US army and American officials using terms seen as stigmatising a nation.


"The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus," Trump tweeted Monday night.


He doubled down on the comment on Tuesday morning while Tweeting about how US states were being affected, saying: "Some are being hit hard by the Chinese Virus, some are being hit practically not at all."


Trump's allies had previously referred to the pandemic as the "Chinese coronavirus", but Beijing said Tuesday it was "strongly indignant" over the phrase, which it called "a kind of stigmatisation".


The United States should "immediately stop its unjustified accusations against China," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.


A commentary by the official Xinhua news agency said using "racist and xenophobic names to cast blame for the outbreak on other countries can only reveal politicians' irresponsibility and incompetence which will intensify virus fears".


The war of words reignited diplomatic tensions between the two countries, which have tussled over trade and other disputes since Trump took office.


Trump's comments were also criticised inside the US, with warnings it could incite a backlash against the Asian-American community.


"Our Asian-American communities -- people YOU serve -- are already suffering. They don't need you fueling more bigotry," tweeted New York city mayor Bill de Blasio, whose state is one of the hardest-hit by the virus in the US.


The World Health Organization said more cases and deaths had been reported in the rest of the world than in China.


The new coronavirus virus was first detected late last year, with China's own health officials initially saying its source was a live animal market in the central city of Wuhan, whose government had initially tried to cover up the outbreak.


But China has sought to distance itself from the virus, saying the origin is still unknown, while seeking global goodwill by offering aid to countries facing serious outbreaks.


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a phone call he initiated with top Chinese official Yang Jiechi, voiced anger that Beijing has used official channels "to shift blame for COVID-19 to the United States", the State Department said.


Pompeo "stressed that this is not the time to spread disinformation and outlandish rumours, but rather a time for all nations to come together to fight this common threat", the department added.


The State Department on Friday summoned the Chinese ambassador, Cui Tiankai, to denounce Beijing's promotion of a conspiracy theory that had gained wide attention on social media.


Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian suggested on Twitter last week that "patient zero" in the global pandemic may have come from the United States.


"It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation," tweeted Zhao, who is known for his provocative statements on social media.


- 'Stern warning' to US - ...