The Wall Street Journal has come under fire from Beijing, as China's foreign ministry revoked the press credentials of three reporters on Wednesday (February 19), after the U.S.-based newspaper refused to apologize for a column with a headline calling China the "real sick man of Asia".
A ministry spokesman told a briefing that Beijing made several representations to the paper over the column from earlier this month -- which China criticized as racist and critical of its efforts to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
He said the paper failed to apologize or investigate those responsible.
The newspaper said that Deputy Bureau Chief Josh Chin and reporters Chao Deng and Philip Wen have been ordered to leave the country in five days.
Chin and Deng are U.S. citizens and Wen is Australian.
Foreigners are not allowed to work as journalists in China without official credentials, which are required to obtain a residence visa.
China's actions come after the United States said on Tuesday (February 18) it would begin treating five Chinese state-run media entities with U.S. operations the same as foreign embassies -- requiring them to register employees and U.S. properties with the State Department.