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Beijing Escalates the New Cold War
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang speaks during the daily press briefing in Beijing on March 18, 2020. (GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
(GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Beijing Escalates the New Cold War

Walter Russell Mead

While the coronavirus pandemic dominates headlines, an even more consequential crisis is unfolding under the shadow of its wings. That is the upheaval of the relationship between the U.S. and China, a pillar of the economic and political world order since the end of the Cold War. The pandemic will pass; the crises in Sino-American relations could be felt for decades.

The Communist Party of China this week escalated its war on the American press. The official reason for Tuesday’s order expelling roughly a dozen U.S. journalists working for this newspaper, the New York Times and the Washington Post doesn’t pass the laugh test. These three papers, Beijing solemnly declares, are agents of the American government, lapdogs of President Trump. Further, the Communist Party insists that the U.S. treat China’s state-owned and state-controlled media outlets as if they were actual journalistic enterprises. As China’s “wolf diplomats,” a particular breed of hyperaggressive Foreign Ministry representatives, and the other party hacks repeating this nonsense surely know, both contentions are absurd. Any Chinese journalists who covered Xi Jinping the way U.S. newspapers cover Mr. Trump would soon disappear. Some have.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.

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