Trump criticizes China expulsion of US journalists as tensions soar

first_imgTrump has incessantly sparred with major US media outlets, often castigating them at raucous rallies and branding them as “fake news” or the “enemy of the people” over coverage that shows his administration in a poor light.China’s government appeared to be taking a rhetorical cue from Trump as it defended its largest expulsion of foreign journalists in recent memory.”We reject ideological bias against China, reject fake news made in the name of press freedom, reject breaches of ethics in journalism,” tweeted foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.Tensions have soared in recent years between the United States and China on a host of issues but the global coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated friction. Trump again on Wednesday insisted on calling SARS-CoV-2 the “Chinese virus,” a term that Beijing calls stigmatizing and which is discouraged by the World Health Organization.In turn, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman last week outraged Washington by tweeting an unfounded conspiracy theory that the US military brought the illness to Wuhan, the metropolis where cases were first reported in late 2019.While Beijing has long criticized foreign coverage, it said the expulsions were retaliation for new restrictions on the number of Chinese nationals who can work for its state-run media on US soil.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly rejected the comparison, noting that US newspapers are not run by the government and are free to ask critical questions, and asked China to reconsider. US says options availableA senior State Department official said the United States still has “lots of other things we can do” after the journalist expulsions but declined to elaborate.”We’re just looking for reciprocal treatment. If you want to be a great power, then you should expect to play on a level playing field, and media should be allowed to operate freely in China as you do here in the US,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.The State Department initially said it was curbing the number of Chinese nationals from state-run outlets to correspond to the number of visas issued to US journalists by Beijing — which has been increasingly assertive against what it sees as unfavorable coverage.The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said that China may have made it easier to block reporting on sensitive issues including its mass incarceration of Uighur Muslims — as well as the novel coronavirus, news of which authorities initially tried to hide.”It is unfortunate that US moves to restrict Chinese media operations gave China the perfect cover to suppress reporting that it has always complained about, under the phony banner of taking ‘reciprocal’ measures,'” said Steven Butler, the group’s Asia program director.Reporters Without Borders, however, stressed a difference between actions taken by the two countries.”The media targeted by China enforce and abide by the principles of ethical journalism — including editorial independence and the verification of facts for the public benefit — while the Chinese state media officially serve as mouthpieces for the Chinese Communist Party,” said the group’s East Asia bureau head, Cedric Alviani.China last month expelled three journalists from The Wall Street Journal after the newspaper ran an opinion piece on the coronavirus crisis with a headline that Beijing called racist. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized China’s unprecedented decision to expel American journalists from three major US newspapers, as media advocates feared that tensions between the two powers provided cover for Beijing to target the press.All US journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal — about 13 people — have been told to hand back their credentials to Chinese authorities within 10 days.”I’m not happy to see it. I have my own disputes with all three of those media groups — I think you know that very well — but I don’t like seeing that at all,” Trump told reporters at the White House. Topics :last_img read more

Why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Matters

first_img By: Tiffany Chang Lawson, Executive Director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs May 01, 2017 Why Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Matters SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Asian Pacific American Affairs,  The Blog May marks the nationwide celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the United States. The national theme for this year’s observance of AAPI Heritage Month is “Unite our Voices by Speaking Together.” Check our last year’s blog post to learn more about the origins of AAPI Heritage Month.The year’s theme for AAPI Heritage Month invites us to acknowledge and understand the diversity that exists within the fastest-growing racial group in the United States. The AAPI community represents more than 320 countries and ethnic groups and well over 100 different languages. In Pennsylvania, AAPIs make up about 3.5% of the population and 2.1% of the electorate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the largest AAPI ethnic communities in Pennsylvania include: Asian Indian (123,000), Chinese (115,000), Korean (52,000), Vietnamese (49,000), Filipino (39,000), and Japanese (18,000). Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) reports that from 2000 to 2010, the number of eligible AAPI voters in the Commonwealth grew by 48%.It is also important to address how the “Model Minority Myth” disguises the needs of underserved AAPI subpopulations. The model minority myth is a uniform assumption of high achievement across all AAPI communities– when, in reality, many AAPI communities face distinct and multiple barriers to equitable education, access to quality healthcare, government services, and jobs that pay a living wage due to socioeconomic factors, immigration status, Limited English Proficiency, and poverty.In an effort to better understand the unique challenges facing the AAPI community, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs began conducting monthly Community Town Halls in January 2017. These Community Town Halls are held across the Commonwealth and focus on different AAPI populations, such as the Indonesian and Korean Communities and the AAPI LGBTQ+ Community. The Commission has also hosted a Pittsburgh Regional AAPI Community Town Hall to better understand the needs specific to communities in the Greater Pittsburgh region.From our Community Town Halls, we have learned that while many issues that are specific to certain ethnic populations, there are just as many shared challenges across the AAPI community. To underscore this year’s AAPI Heritage Month theme, we need to begin truly uniting our voices and speaking together across ethnic communities to lift up collective issues. For example, education equity for English Language Learners and language access are issues that affect the entire AAPI community. According to APIAVote, 79% of Asian Americans in Pennsylvania speak a language other than English at home, and, of those, more than 37% speak English less than “very well.” Language access is protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prevents discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. Furthermore, civil rights is a critical issue for the AAPI community, especially in the past several years as we’ve seen a sharp increase in Islamophobia, xenophobia, and violence towards AAPI immigrants and refugees. To understand the disparities that exist in different AAPI ethnic populations we must highlight data that acknowledges the diversity inherent in our community. This effort is commonly referred to as data disaggregation. Through data disaggregation, we get a clearer picture of the unique challenges faced by different AAPI ethnic populations – challenges often are masked when hidden in the larger racial categories of Asian American or Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.Lastly, the AAPI community must prioritize pan-Asian American solidarity amongst our diverse communities. These efforts must be parallel to coalition building with other marginalized communities to amplify our shared challenges.It is important that the diverse AAPI community advocate with a unified voice for education equity for English Language Learners, language access, civil rights, and data disaggregation. We must build coalitions with other marginalized communities to increase awareness around these shared issues.AAPI Heritage Month lasts throughout the entire month of May a total of 31 days. However, its critical impact is its symbolic significance, that AAPIs are a part of the economic, social, and political fabric of our nation and our state. It is the visibility that this month lends to the AAPI community where we can share with our classmates, colleagues, friends, and neighbors parts or our vibrant cultural heritage, our stories, and the unique challenges that our community still faces.The Commonwealth is proud to honor the history and contributions of AAPIs in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Please join us for a celebration in honor of AAPI Heritage Month on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at the Forum Building Auditorium in Harrisburg from 12pm-1pm.The Wolf Administration encourages all Pennsylvanians to celebrate this important observance and to continue to work toward the goal of access and equity for all.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: read more