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Tiananmen Gate in Beijing. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry revoked on Wednesday the press credentials of three Beijing-based Wall Street Journal journalists and ordered them to leave the country within five days, the news outlet confirmed.

Why it matters: The action taken over the Journal op-ed headline "China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia" comes hours after the State Department designated the Chinese state media outlets Xinhua, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily and Hai Tian Development USA as "foreign missions," meaning they are treated as arms of the government, as Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian first reported.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • There are strict reporting restrictions on foreign news outlets in China. But the expulsion of foreign journalists — and "multiple reporters with the same international news organization at the same time" — is rare, as WSJ notes.

What they're saying: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement condemning China’s expulsion of the foreign correspondents:

"Mature, responsible countries understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions. The correct response is to present counter arguments, not restrict speech. The United States hopes that the Chinese people will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech that Americans enjoy."

Details: The journalists ordered to leave the country are deputy bureau chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both Americans, and reporter Philip Wen, an Australian, according to WSJ.

  • Geng Shuang, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, told a news briefing authorities had repeatedly asked for a public apology but the news outlet had not done so, according to the state-run Global Times.

Of note: News and editorial departments are run separately and the journalists would have had nothing to do with the opinion pieces like the one Chinese authorities object to, written by Walter Russell Mead, a James Clarke Chace professor of foreign affairs and the humanities at Bard College and the Journal's Global View columnist.

  • In August, another WSJ reporter, Chun Han Wong, who reported on an investigation by Australian authorities into Chinese President Xi Jinping's cousin, had to leave mainland China after a request to renew his press credentials was denied.

Go deeper: Pompeo says new China media restrictions "long overdue"

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Cuomo asks New York AG and chief judge to choose "independent" investigator into sexual harassment claims

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a press conference on Feb. 24. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

A special counselor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Sunday asking the state's attorney general and chief judge to jointly pick an "independent and qualified lawyer in private practice without political affiliation" to investigate claims of sexual harassment against the governor.

The state of play: The statement is an about-face from Cuomo, who had previously selected a former judge close to a top aide to lead the investigation, the New York Times reported, a move that was widely criticized.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

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