China Isn’t ‘Weaponizing Visas’, It’s Ensuring Journalistic Integrity and Ethics

The only ones “weaponizing visas” were the WSJ “journalists”, not the Chinese government. These individuals, possibly at the behest of their employer (it’s not yet clear whether they were acting on their own initiative or at the orders of their company’s top staff), deceived the authorities about their intended actions in the country and abused their journalist visas in order to carry out political activities. In order to ensure journalistic integrity and ethics, China had no choice but to punish them for what they did so as to send a message to others that it won’t turn a blind eye towards foreigners breaking its laws and defiling their profession.

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Reuters ran a story Monday morning reporting how the Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) accused China of “weaponizing visas” after it revoked them from three Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporters following a very scandalous incident. According to the report, the FCCC said that “Chinese authorities are using visas as weapons against the foreign press like never before, expanding their deployment of a long-time intimidation tactic as working conditions for foreign journalists in China markedly deteriorated in 2019.” This is an inaccurate portrayal of what really happened and deserves further clarification so that others aren’t misled.

The three WSJ reporters who had their visas revoked were responsible for publishing a very derogatory — and some would even argue, racist — article which described their host country as “the real sick man of Asia”. That description, “sick man”, has historically been used by Europeans to describe the Ottoman Empire throughout its decades-long collapse, which holds no parallels to modern-day China’s historically unprecedented rise. Furthermore, the words “sick man” have also been abused in the past to make racist attacks against Asians. It’s unclear which of the two meanings the WSJ intended (if not both), but the term is extremely offensive.

Journalists, by definition, are supposed to report the facts as they objectively exists, not comment upon them like pundits do or interpret them like analysts. One of the reasons why so many people all across the world distrust the Western media is because journalists have taken on the tendency to behave as pundits and/or analysts while nevertheless continuing to call their information products “journalism”. That’s very deceptive and has resulted in confusing their targeted audience, which mistakes opinion and analysis as the reporting of objectively existing facts despite this not always being the case.

What the WSJ did was wrong, but even worse, it refused to apologize like any respectful media outlet would have ordinarily been expected to do after they were made aware of their egregious error of judgement. Instead, it appears in hindsight as though its “journalists” wanted to deliberately provoke a political scandal, once again having them take on a role that goes far and beyond simply reporting the facts. This is absolutely unacceptable and is a violation of basic journalistic codes and ethics, which further erodes the trust that the public has in the media and thereby violates the integrity of this institution.

China, as a sovereign country, has the right not to host individuals who lie about their status in the country. The three WSJ “reporters” weren’t behaving as “journalists” when they published their incendiary piece, which is something that they were fully aware of after refusing to apologize. Rather, they were playing purely political roles, which goes against their stated reason for being in the country. Accordingly, China saw it fit to remove them so as to prevent them from continuing to meddle in the country’s affairs from within by denigrating its international reputation in the highly publicized manner that they did.

The only ones “weaponizing visas” were the WSJ “journalists”, not the Chinese government. These individuals, possibly at the behest of their employer (it’s not yet clear whether they were acting on their own initiative or at the orders of their company’s top staff), deceived the authorities about their intended actions in the country and abused their journalist visas in order to carry out political activities. In order to ensure journalistic integrity and ethics, China had no choice but to punish them for what they did so as to send a message to others that it won’t turn a blind eye towards foreigners breaking its laws and defiling their profession.

Going forward, it’s predictable that this incident will continue to be politicized, exactly as the WSJ “reporters” apparently intended this whole time. The point in doing so is to amplify their derogatory comments across the world in order for the largest audience possible to be infected with their venomous ideas of China as either a modern-day collapsing empire like the Ottomans were and/or a nation of “sick” subhumans. Both of the innuendos that the WSJ made about China are totally wrong, but these information warfare practitioners could care less about the truth since all that they want to do is mislead the world for political reasons.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

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