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AFP
February 26, 2020

Expelled WSJ China journalist stuck in virus epicentre

World

AFP
February 26, 2020

BEIJING: A Wall Street Journal reporter will remain in the locked-down Chinese city at the centre of the new coronavirus outbreak despite being ordered to leave the country, authorities said Tuesday.

Three journalists had their press credentials revoked and were told to depart China last week over what Beijing said was a racist headline in the newspaper´s opinion pages, which none of the trio were involved in writing. Two flew out from Beijing on Monday but the third -- US national Chao Deng -- has been reporting from Wuhan, where the virus was first detected.

The central city and industrial hub has been under effective quarantine for more than a month and its 11 million residents have been largely confined to their homes. Chao will not be expelled for the time being but will not be permitted to work while she remains in China, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press briefing. "Out of humanitarian reasons, we will continue to allow her to stay in Wuhan, but she cannot conduct interviews," Zhao said. "After the epidemic is over, we will allow her to leave as quickly as possible."