Kicked Out of China - The New York Times Daily podcast.

As the pandemic spread, China expelled Western journalists, including New York Times reporter Paul Mozur, as well as reporters for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Mozur talks about the experience, and heightening tensions between China and the West.

Foreigners in China are facing increase xenophobia as the Communist Party spreads rumors that foreigners brought coronavirus in China. Some rumors say it was a deliberate act of biowar by the US Army.

This is an old trick for the Chinese Communist Party. Whenever they fear the legitimacy of their rule threatened, they stir up hostility toward foreigners, particularly the West, particularly the US. And of course Republicans in the US are now borrowing the same playbook.

The Chinese government wants to tell a story to the world that they have gotten the coronavirus under control, through their variety of enlightened autocracy, while democracies are flailing. They are expelling western journalists, who might tell the truth and undermine that story.

Mozur also discusses his grief at leaving China - probably never to return - which has been his home for 13 years.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner