China has defended its decision to expel more than a dozen American journalists and also bar them from working in Hong Kong. The latest diplomatic row was triggered in February, when Washington forced Chinese state media outlets to register as foreign embassies. Beijing then expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters, after an opinion column by the newspaper called China the “real sick man of Asia”. The US followed by slashing by one-third the number of journalists working at Chinese state-owned media outlets. US media have called Beijing’s move irresponsible, at a time when the world needs free flow of information about the coronavirus.
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