China continues to rail against Wall Street Journal, and targets Kathmandu Post

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 Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Gěng Shuǎng 耿爽: “Those media who blatantly insult China, pitch racial discrimination and maliciously smear China must pay the price.”

In a piece from its editorial board (paywall), the Wall Street Journal says the real reason China ordered three of its journalists to leave is “so they can change the subject from the Chinese public’s anger about the government’s management of the coronavirus scourge.”

In Brussels, Agence France-Presse reports that the “EU on Thursday voiced concern about China’s decision to expel three Wall Street Journal reporters, saying the move was a fresh attack on freedom of expression.” 

Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post says that “China warned on Thursday that it may take further action against The Wall Street Journal”:

At a daily press conference on Thursday [transcripts in Chinese, English], the foreign ministry spokesman was bombarded by questions from journalists about the decision to revoke the press credentials of the three, none of whom had been involved in the offending opinion piece, which dubbed China the “sick man of Asia”…

In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Gěng Shuǎng 耿爽 said the Journal has done nothing but “fudge the issue and dodge responsibility” despite “stern representation” from China.

He said “we are not interested” in the newspaper’s editorial structure, because “there is only one media agency called the WSJ, and it must be responsible for what it has said and done.”

“Those media who blatantly insult China, pitch racial discrimination and maliciously smear China must pay the price.”

This is not a good sign for journalism in China, nor for U.S.-China relations.

Meanwhile in Nepal, the Chinese embassy is threatening the Kathmandu Post for publishing a syndicated opinion piece. See also reports from the Kathmandu Post itself:

—Jeremy Goldkorn