Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is not taking it easy on China after the Chinese government allegedly retaliated against American journalists reporting in Hong Kong.
He issued a statement explaining the significance of reporting done by Americans and how any decision made affecting the autonomy of Hong Kong would impact the United States’ assessment of its status.
“It has recently come to my attention that the Chinese government has threatened to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong. These journalists are members of a free press, not propaganda cadres, and their valuable reporting informs Chinese citizens and the world,” Pompeo said.
He added, “Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory.”
Pompeo’s statement comes shortly after China announced it would be expelling reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post in March, as IJR previously reported.
China’s move to expel reporters resulted from the State Department’s decision to place restrictions on Chinese reporters operating in the United States.
The Chinese government issued a statement requiring reporters from the listed media outlets whose press credentials expire this year to “notify the Department of Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within four calendar days starting from today and hand back their press cards within ten calendar days.”
According to the statement, American reporters “will not be allowed to continue working as journalists in the People’s Republic of China, including its Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.”
Pompeo has blamed China in the past for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people from the coronavirus, as IJR previously reported.
He also demanded China share more information about the pandemic.