A New York Times correspondent who has worked in China for more than a decade was forced to leave the country on Monday because his visa was not renewed, the newspaper said.
Chris Buckley, a 45-year-old Australian, flew to Hong Kong with his family amid increased pressures on foreign journalists by the Chinese government, which is concerned over media scrutiny of its top leaders.
Times executive editor Jill Abramson said the newspaper was hopeful that the Chinese government would renew Buckley’s journalist visa soon so he and his family can return.
“I regret that Chris Buckley has been forced to relocate outside of China despite our repeated requests to renew his journalist visa,” she said.
She said she also hoped the Chinese would issue journalism credentials to Philip Pan, who is designated to serve as the newspaper’s bureau chief in Beijing.
The newspaper reported that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declined to comment on the departure of Buckley, who has worked as a correspondent in China since 2000 and joined the Times in September.
The Times said six other correspondents in China had their visas for this year renewed in a timely manner, including David Barboza, who wrote articles about the finances of the family of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao (溫家寶).
The newspaper said the day it published the results of a long investigation, it found its English-language Web site and its new Chinese-language site were blocked within China, and they remain so.
Similar actions have been taken against Bloomberg News after it published a detailed report on the wealth of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平), the Times said.
The Committee to Protect Journalists reported on Monday that a correspondent for al-Jazeera was forced to leave the country in May.