Trump administration mulls expelling Chinese journalists after WSJ reporters banned: report

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The Trump administration is reportedly considering expelling Chinese journalists in retaliation for the expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters based in China by the Chinese government.

Bloomberg News reported Monday that administration officials were set to convene Monday to discuss the possibility of taking action against Chinese journalists based in the U.S. as a way of showing the Chinese government that the U.S. would respond to the expulsion of Americans living abroad in China. Some officials reportedly have advocated for dozens or even hundreds of Chinese journalists to be affected by the decision.

A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council declined to comment on specific measures being considered when contacted by Bloomberg but condemned the expulsion of the Journal’s reporters.

“This expulsion is yet another attempt to control the press, and prevent the world’s readers as well as investors from reading important stories about China,” John Ullyot told the news service.

The Chinese government blamed their removal on an opinion piece published by the newspaper containing a headline that offended some Chinese readers.

“The Chinese people do not welcome media that publish racist statements and maliciously attacks China,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said last week. “In light of this, China has decided to revoke the press cards of the three Wall Street Journal correspondents in Beijing starting today.”

That statement was swiftly condemned by the Journal’s publisher, who also stated that it was not the paper’s intention to offend Chinese readers.

“Our opinion pages regularly publish articles with opinions that people disagree—or agree—with and it was not our intention to cause offense with the headline on the piece,” the Journal’s CEO and publisher, John Lewis, responded in a statement. “However, this has clearly caused upset and concern amongst the Chinese people, which we regret.”

“The need for quality, trusted news reporting from China is greater than ever; today’s decision to target our News department journalists greatly hinders that effort,” he added.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on Bloomberg’s reporting from The Hill.

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