In what could be the second expulsion of a foreign journalist this year, Chinese authorities have failed to renew a visa and journalist accreditation for the New York Times’ Chris Buckley, an Australian citizen. Buckley left China on Monday night. Buckley’s departure follows the publication of two major New York Times’ exposés looking at the financial dealings of relatives of China’s high officials, although Buckley himself was not responsible for the reports. David Barboza, who wrote the two investigative pieces, continues to work in China. From the Sydney Morning Herald:
Fairfax understands that Buckley, who rejoined The New York Times in October after a stint at Reuters, has received no official explanation of why his application has not been accepted after a delay of more than two months.
Buckley’s treatment raises concerns about bilateral reciprocity, given reporters and propaganda workers from Chinese state media are given unimpeded access to Australia and the US.
It also illustrates the challenge facing the new leader, Xi Jinping.
Mr Xi has repeatedly warned that corruption threatens the Communist Party’s existence but has not yet shown he is prepared to allow the media ”sunlight” that analysts say is required to redress the problem.
The New York Times report on Mr Wen was one of a series of damaging foreign media reports about how leading Communist Party families have acquired enormous wealth despite their professed socialist ideals.
The New York Times’ Chinese and English websites have both been blocked following the newspaper’s recent reporting on China. Phil Pan, an American journalist who was hired to edit the Chinese site, has also been denied a journalist visa in China, according to the SMH article. But on Twitter, Pan expressed optimism that Buckley would be permitted to return to China:
@limlouisa @pekingmike @chubailiang He’ll be back soon, I
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