Wall Street Journal editor in chief Matt Murray sent the following to the staff on Wednesday:
On Wednesday, the Chinese government ordered the expulsion of three of our colleagues in Beijing in a harsh and unprecedented action.
The Wall Street Journal news department has maintained a robust staff in China for 40 years and a deep commitment to covering one of the most important stories of our era. Time and again our journalists have distinguished themselves and this organization with the depth, insight, color and power of their work. Millions of our readers—including Chinese readers—have been informed and enlightened by Wall Street Journal coverage of China and its remarkable rise and society. Indeed, it is undoubtedly true that the Journal and its journalists have been one pivotal way for the world to better understand China as it has grown into a global force— the stated aim of the Chinese government in opening its doors to Western reporters in the first place.
Our important work continues right to this very hour. At the top of wsj.com, you can see the inspiring stories that our colleagues produced for our readers even on a very trying day.
The three reporters who are being expelled—Josh Chin, Chao Deng and Philip Wen—represent the best traditions of the Journal. As experts who have devoted themselves and their talents to covering China, they have produced stories notable for their rigor, care, knowledge and potency. Even now, Chao is in Wuhan, exposing herself to potential illness, to tell stories about the coronavirus. This is what journalists do: run toward the danger. And alongside them stands an entire team that has produced stellar, pathbreaking work in recent weeks despite challenging working conditions.
We all must stand alongside them too. Let no one doubt that The Wall Street Journal remains fully committed to covering China, with the highest standards of news reporting. We will continue to write about China, without fear or favor and with no agenda but the truth. We will support our journalists and their work and safety. And we will continue in the coming days to push for this action to be reversed.