(Photo: Global Times)
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that one of the three Wall Street Journal (WSJ) journalists whose press credentials were revoked last week is in Wuhan, the COVID19 outbreak epicenter, and the journalist has been allowed to stay until the situation is feasible to leave China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing that Deng Chao, the WSJ journalist in Wuhan, is being allowed to remain in Wuhan on humanitarian grounds.
The city said on Monday that it is still under a strict lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
China announced its decision to revoke the press credentials of three Beijing-based journalists from the WSJ last week after the newspaper published an article with a "racist headline," which slandered China's efforts in fighting the coronavirus outbreak, and refused to correct its attitude and tender a formal apology over the issue.
Commenting on reports that the US is considering ousting Chinese journalists in retaliation to China revoking the three WSJ journalists' press credentials, Zhao said the term " sick man of Asia" is closely attached to a particular historical period in China, and is extremely derogatory. The WSJ headline challenges the bottom line of Chinese dignity, hurts the feelings of and enrages the Chinese people, Zhao noted.
Even in a letter signed by 53 WSJ employees in China, they protested the use of the words in the headline of the article, saying "This is not about editorial independence or the sanctity of the divide between news and opinion. It is about the mistaken choice of a headline that was deeply offensive to many people, not just in China," Zhao said.