Washington [US], Feb 20 (ANI): The United States on Thursday condemned China's expulsion of three Wall Street Journal's (WSJ) foreign correspondents over an opinion piece published in the newspaper, saying "mature, responsible countries, understand that a free press reports facts and expresses opinions.""Mature, responsible countries understand that free press reports facts and expresses opinions. The correct response is to present counter-arguments, not restrict speech," US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said in a statement Wednesday.
"The United States hopes that the Chinese people will enjoy the same access to accurate information and freedom of speech that Americans enjoy," he added.
Chinese foreign ministry blamed the expulsions on an opinion piece written by Walter Russel Mead titled 'China is the Real Sick man of Asia', referencing the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that originated in the country.
Wall Street Journal's CEO William Lewis expressed disappointment over the incident.
"Our opinion pages regularly publish articles with opinions that people disagree - or agree with - and it was not our intention to cause offense with the headline on the piece," CEO William Lewis said. "However, this has clearly caused upset and concern amongst the Chinese people, which we regret." (ANI)