March 18, 2020 / 7:43 AM / 23 days ago

China says within its rights to bar U.S. reporters from Hong Kong

BEIJING, March 18 (Reuters) - China defended its decision on Wednesday to expel American journalists from three U.S. newspapers and bar them even from working in Hong Kong, saying the measure falls within the central government’s purview over diplomatic affairs.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, at a regular daily press briefing, declined to say how many journalists would be affected by the measure.

Earlier, China said it is withdrawing the press credentials of U.S. correspondents with the New York Times, News Corp’s Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post whose credentials expire by the end of 2020, and that those affected would also not be allowed to work as journalists in Hong Kong.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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