The Chinese Foreign Ministry has summoned a US embassy representative over disagreements with Washington that began when the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article on China's coronavirus response that Beijing called discriminatory, the ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said in a statement
BEIJING (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 27th February, 2020) The Chinese Foreign Ministry has summoned a US embassy representative over disagreements with Washington that began when the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article on China's coronavirus response that Beijing called discriminatory, the ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said in a statement.
Last week, the ministry revoked the press credentials of and expelled three WSJ journalists over an opinion article they published earlier this month. The piece, titled "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia," called Beijing's measures to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus "less than impressive." US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later condemned Beijing's move, urging the country to respect the freedom of the press. Beijing responded by saying the situation had nothing to do with the freedom of speech and that parts of the article, particularly the headline, were reminiscent of "racial discrimination," as it singled out the Chinese people specifically.
"Secretary of State Pompeo and other individuals, under the pretext of so-called freedom of speech, openly support the Wall Street Journal's grave error, make irresponsible remarks, and make no distinction between truth and falsehood regarding China's struggle against the epidemic of the new coronavirus," the spokeswoman said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
"In fact, the US insulted and provoked China without any reason, and China defended itself. Over recent years, the US has introduced various restrictive measures against Chinese media working in the US, while Chinese journalists adhere to professional ethics and objectively cover what is happening in the country. If Washington imposes further restrictive measures against Chinese media, Beijing will respond," Hua added.
On Wednesday, the ministry's spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said that the WSJ had acknowledged that the article in question was erroneous but still had not issued a formal apology, which is Beijing's main requirement alongside punishing those responsible for publishing the article.