The Chinese Communist Party has expelled several journalists for daring to speak the truth about its dysfunctional regime. The move comes amid the growing Wuhan coronavirus outbreak that has already infected 75,384 people and killed over 2,000.
While Chinese authorities may believe they are saving face by suppressing critical reporting of the outbreak, they are rapidly losing the respect of the international community and putting their people in danger.
Independent journalism has been instrumental in exposing the size of the outbreak and changing the way China reported its numbers. What else is the Chinese Communist Party trying to hide?
While the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is still concentrated in central China, it puts the entire world at risk.
China is deeply integrated into the global economy, and it’s impossible to completely stop the movement of goods and people. The virus has spread to 29 countries, infecting 621 outside of mainland China. As the disease continues to spread, many scientists believe it will become a global pandemic.
That’s why international scientists and media need to have access to the situation on the ground in Wuhan.
But Chinese officials have rejected the United States’ offer to send top public health experts to help combat the outbreak. Now, they are suppressing foreign journalists who are covering the crisis.
According to The Wall Street Journal, China has revoked the press credentials of three of its reporters based in Beijing. The reporters, Josh Chin, Chao Deng, and Philip Wen, have all been ordered to leave the country in three days. This move supposedly comes in response to an op-ed that referred to China as the “Sick Man of Asia.”
Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, stated the following:
Regrettably, what the WSJ has done so far is nothing but parrying and dodging its responsibility. The Chinese people do not welcome those media that speak racially discriminatory language and maliciously slander and attack China.
Shuang’s accusation of racism is disingenuous.
China’s Communist Party is trying to equate any criticism of its rule with criticism of the Chinese people themselves. While The Wall Street Journal directed scathing criticism towards the Chinese state, they did not attack the Chinese people.
Democratically-elected governments such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan do not receive the same level of criticism as the People’s Republic of China despite being ethnically and culturally Chinese. So if the issue isn’t racism, what is it?
China may be attempting to censor coverage of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak by intimidating Western journalists who dare criticize their handling of the outbreak.
The Wall Street Journal was one of the first news outlets to openly criticize China’s official coronavirus numbers.
On Feb. 11 the outlet published a damning report that exposed how China was underreporting coronavirus infection numbers by not counting symptomatic people who tested negative for the disease. The Chinese authorities previously recorded these people as not infected even though many actually had coronavirus.
These patients were denied adequate medical care and were not quarantined so they probably went on the spread the virus to even more people.
After WSJ’s report, China changed the way it calculated the coronavirus infection rate and confirmed cases soared by around 15,000 in one day.
China is putting the whole world at risk by suppressing independent journalists operating in the country. News organizations like The Wall Street Journal have been instrumental in shedding light on the coronavirus outbreak and creating an impetus for Chinese authorities to improve their handling of the situation.
China’s decision to expel these journalists over alleged ‘racism’ is a smokescreen. The Chinese Communist Party is trying to suppress and intimidate anyone who rightfully criticizes its dysfunctional rule and mishandling of the coronavirus epidemic.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
Last modified: June 24, 2020 1:04 AM UTC