Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 8

China’s double standards

In a recent news article, The Associated Press (AP) reported that Chris Buckley, a veteran journalist, was forced to leave Beijing on Monday because his work visa was not renewed (“Reporter forced to leave China,” Jan. 2, page 5).

Buckley flew to Hong Kong with his wife and child “amid increased pressures on foreign journalists by the Chinese government, which is concerned over media scrutiny of its top leaders,” AP said.

China, which is happy to post its reporters in Taiwan and New York, the better to gather and report news, apparently does not like to play fair when it comes to other nations wanting to post their reporters in Beijing or Shanghai.

A case in point is Philip Pan, the designated bureau chief in the New York Times’ Beijing office, who applied for a visa in March last year and is still waiting for his papers.

Pan, who is the son of Taiwanese immigrants to the US, and like Jeremy Lin (林書豪) a Harvard graduate, has set up a temporary office in Hong Kong while he waits for the Chinese authorities to furnish him with credentials.

It seems that Beijing will allow a Taiwanese-American basketball star with a Harvard pedigree to visit China to sign autographs and entertain fans, but keeps a Harvard-educated, Taiwanese-American journalist waiting 10 months for a visa application to be either approved or rejected.

Why the double standards?

Dan Bloom