February 25, 2020 / 10:16 AM / a month ago

China says WSJ reporter in Wuhan can remain in country until end of epidemic

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that one of the three Wall Street Journal reporters who were ordered to leave the country can remain in China as she is stranded in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing that Chao Deng, who has been unable to leave the city following a lockdown that sought to contain the spread of the virus, is being allowed to remain in Wuhan on humanitarian grounds.

She can comply with the order to leave China after the epidemic ends, he said, adding that she cannot do any reporting work while in Wuhan.

Deng and two other Wall Street Journal reporters were ordered to leave last week after the newspaper did not comply with Beijing’s repeated demands for an apology and investigation into a Feb. 3 column that called China the “real sick man of Asia.”

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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