Wall Street Journal reporter forced to leave China
A reporter for the Wall Street Journal has been forced to leave China.
Chun Han Wong, a Singaporean national, has worked in Beijing for The Journal since 2014. His credentials had been approved annually since then. The Journal applied to renew them late last month for a process that usually takes a matter of days.
The government-issued credentials are required to work in China as a foreign reporter.
He was forced to leave China on Friday when his visa expired.
The New York Times sees this as a sign of a tougher line from Beijing. It reported that Wong had written about an investigation in Australia involving a cousin of China’s leader, Xi Jinping.
“We can confirm that Chinese authorities have declined to renew Chun Han’s press credentials,” a Dow Jones spokesman said in an email. “We continue to look into the matter.”
The paper expressed its disappointment.
“It is disappointing that the Chinese government has denied our reporter press credentials,” the paper quoted Matt Murray, its editor in chief, as saying.
“Our journalism has been fair and accurate. We of course remain committed to covering the important story of China with the usual high standards that our readers expect.”
A person with direct knowledge of the situation said officials at the foreign ministry, which accredits foreign reporters, had voiced displeasure to the Journal about a June 30 story written by Wong and another reporter, Philip Wen.
The report said Australian authorities were looking into the activities of one of Xi’s cousins as part of probes into organized crime, money laundering and alleged Chinese influence-peddling.
Neither the New York Times nor Bloomberg News received new journalist visas for more than a year after they published stories in 2012 about the wealth of family members of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Xi, respectively.
(Photo is of China’s leader Xi Jinping.)