U.S. Officials Push for Expelling Suspected Chinese Spies at Media Outlets

Trump administration officials are discussing taking action after China said it would expel almost all American journalists for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

The New York Times
Date:
 March 26, 2020
By:  Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes

A Foreign Ministry briefing last week in Beijing. At least 13 American journalists stand to be expelled from China.Credit…Andy Wong/Associated Press

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WASHINGTON — As China moves forward with expelling almost all American journalists from three major American newspapers, Trump administration officials have intensified discussions over whether to evict employees of Chinese media outlets who they say mainly act as spies.

The action is under consideration because some U.S. officials want to retaliate against China in a new conflict that has revolved around news organizations and is being fueled by hostility over the coronavirus pandemic.

Since the virus began spreading across the United States, Washington and Beijing have waged a global information war over the outbreak. President Trump and his aides are trying to pin responsibility on China, where Communist Party officials initially covered up the dangers of the virus as it was first discovered. Mr. Trump, though, has been criticized for vast failures in the American response.

Some American intelligence officials have pushed for years to expel employees of Chinese media organizations who they say mainly file intelligence reports. The officials now see an opening to make a strong case after Beijing abruptly announced this month that it would expel almost all American citizens who report from mainland China for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.    [FULL  STORY]

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