China Renews Most Western Journalists’ Visas

The Washington Post’s William Wan reports that new visas are finally arriving for many journalists at The New York Times, Bloomberg News and other organizations. Annual visa renewals were delayed late last year in apparent retaliation for reporting on the finances of leaders’ families. After a tense wait and much debate, press cards—a prerequisite for journalists’ visa renewal applications—were issued shortly before Christmas, with at least one exception:

Austin Ramzy, a journalist who previously worked for Time magazine and began working for the New York Times this year, has not been given press accreditation nor a permanent visa since he joined the Times, said journalists in Beijing.

[…] By Thursday, most reporters at the Times had received visas, and many Bloomberg reporters have received their visas as well, said several journalists in Beijing, who were not authorized to speak by name.

The Washington Post, which has two correspondents in China, received a visa for one in December and for the second Thursday.

[…] While journalists who are already in China have been able to renew their visas, neither the Times nor Bloomberg have been able to obtain visas for new journalists they have hired for positions in China, journalists say. [Source]

Websites for Bloomberg and The Times remain blocked in China, and were briefly joined this week by The Guardian’s.