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US Embassy in China Posted Pompeo’s Speech on China Expelling Wall Street Journal Reporters

The United States Embassy in China placed a post on its own website in Chinese. It included excerpts from the speech that Secretary of State Pompeo made at the press conference held on February 25, 2020 (original English speech can be found at:

The original transcript is below:

“Expelling our journalists exposes, once again, the governance issue that led to SARS, and now, the coronavirus, namely censorship.  It can have deadly consequences.  Had China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge.

QUESTION:  On China, you have issued a strong statement to condemn China for expelling The Wall Street Journal reporters.  What other options being considered by the United States to respond?  And what is your take on this headline controversy that some of The Wall Street Journal’s China staff have asked the paper to apologize and that the headline was considered by the Chinese Government to be racist?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So with respect to the decision that the Chinese Communist Party made to expel three Wall Street Journal journalists, we made a statement; we’ve condemned it.  We’ve condemned it because it’s the wrong thing to do from a perspective of freedom.  We talk about reciprocity and what Chinese media outlets have access to or are permitted to do here in the United States.  That is not the case for U.S. media outlets or, for that matter, other non-Chinese media outlets inside of China as well.  So there’s an important principle there that we want to defend.

But second, it’s also incredibly important that we get accurate information about what’s taking place there. With respect to the coronavirus, this data set matters. This information matters. The tactical situation on the ground matters, not only to assist us in helping the Chinese people, which we are committed to continuing to do, but to make sure that we are helping citizens all across the world, including citizens right here in the United States.

So we think that information flow inside of China is at a critical moment.  It’s always important that we get good information, that there’s free press everywhere. But it’s especially essential at this time, where data and information matter because they provide things that go beyond anecdote so that we can respond in a way that meets the actual threat, not based on anecdote and rumor.

I don’t want to get ahead of what our policy options are that are being considered.  We’re looking at a broad range of things.  We will take the appropriate action and, if necessary, we’ll make sure that the President also gets a chance to weigh in on this decision as we move through our decision-making process.”

Source: US Embassy and Consulates in China website, February 25, 2020