China expels American journalists

Foreign Affairs


SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

China expelled all American journalists working in China at the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post in retaliation for the Trump administration’s limits on the number of Chinese citizens who can work in the U.S. for five state-controlled Chinese news organizations. Chinese state media have since cheered the action.

Beijing also revoked the work permits of Chinese “news assistants” (such as locally hired reporters and researchers) at American media outlets.

Why is China doing this? In the Guardian, author Richard McGregor says: “Increasingly powerful, Xi’s China thinks it no longer needs Washington — or its foreign reporters.”

Repression of domestic voices also continues: Rén Zhìqiáng 任志强, a real estate agent who called Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 a power-hungry “clown” over his handling of the COVID-19 response, has gone missing, as ordinary people face a new wave of online censorship.