Three Wall Street Journal reporters have been ordered to leave China as a punishment for an opinion piece that described the country as the “sick man of Asia.” The newspaper reported that it was the first time since the days of Mao Zedong that the Chinese government has expelled multiple reporters from one international news outlet at the same time. Chinese officials were infuriated by the op-ed, which criticized the government’s initial response to the coronavirus outbreak and its financial markets. “Regrettably, what the WSJ has done so far is nothing but parrying and dodging its responsibility,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said. “The Chinese people do not welcome those media that speak racially discriminatory language and maliciously slander and attack China.” The Journal named the reporters as Josh Chin and Chao Deng, both U.S. nationals, as well as Philip Wen, who is an Australian national. They must all leave China in five days. Notably, the South China Morning Post reports all three had previously reported from Xinjiang, where China has reportedly detained more than a million Uighur Muslims as part of a mass “re-education” effort.
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