White House ‘very disappointed’ NYT reporter was forced to leave China

The Weekly Standard

In a statement Thursday, the White House said it was “very disappointed that New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy was forced to leave China today because of processing delays for his press credentials.” Ramzy is a China correspondent for the Times. The Chinese government forced him to leave the country this week, saying he had “violated Chinese regulations last year by continuing to travel to and from the country using the journalist visa he was issued before he left his previous employer, Time magazine,” Andrew Jacobs reported in the Times.

 

The White House’s statement continues:

We remain concerned that Mr. Ramzy and several other U.S. journalists have waited months, and in some cases years, for a decision on their press credentials and visa applications. We have raised our concerns about the treatment of journalists and media organizations repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Chinese government, and will continue to do so. We have consistently and clearly expressed our expectation to Chinese authorities that China issue and renew visas for journalists working for U.S. media outlets in China.

During a recent visit to China, Vice President Biden expressed the United States’ concern about China’s crackdown on foreign journalists.

Last week, Washington Post China correspondent William Wan wrote that “the threat of visa denials is just one more addition to the already hefty pile of frustrations about reporting in China.”

Your phones are often tapped, your computers hacked and offices bugged. Journalists of interest to the government routinely receive warnings from Google saying their Gmail accounts appear to be under state-sponsored attack.

You often feel ridiculous about all the precautions you take to report a sensitive story. But then something happens — a source is detained or an official coyly mentions a detail — that not only confirms your suspicions but also makes you redouble your efforts.

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