Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gěng Shuǎng 耿爽 did not mention the expulsions at the daily press briefing today: The announcement came near midnight, Beijing time.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced (in Chinese here) its retaliation for the Trump administration’s limits on the number of Chinese citizens who could work in the United States for five state-controlled Chinese news organizations, which itself was in retaliation for China expelling three Wall Street Journal reporters:
Journalists of U.S. citizenship working with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post whose press credentials are due to expire before the end of 2020…must hand back their press cards within ten calendar days. They will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.
The qualifier “press credentials are due to expire before the end of 2020” applies to most foreign journalists, who have to renew their press cards every year. The language of the statement implies that journalists at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post who do not have American citizenship are exempt from the action.
Voice of America and TIME are also included in new requirements to report “all staff members located in China, all finances, all operations, and all real estate information and related materials.”
What is unclear is how the government will enforce the expulsion of these reporters from Hong Kong and Macau, but however they choose to do it, it is another attack on “One Country Two Systems”: Hong Kong is supposed to have a free press.
- New York Times: China announces that it will expel American journalists (paywall);
- Washington Post: Beijing pulls credentials for journalists at three U.S. news outlets, including The Post;
- Wall Street Journal: China banishes U.S. journalists from Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post (paywall)