New York Times reporter leaves mainland China

New York, December 31, 2012–The New York Times reported today that one of its correspondents in China, Chris Buckley, has had to leave the mainland because Chinese authorities have not issued him a visa for 2013.

Buckley, who rejoined the Times in September and has worked as a journalist in China since 2000, flew to Hong Kong on Monday, the newspaper reported. The Times said it had made numerous attempts to secure credentials for Buckley.

“CPJ is concerned that Chinese authorities have not renewed Chris Buckley’s visa,” said Bob Dietz, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “We urge authorities to approve his credentials as soon as possible.”

Chinese authorities have exerted growing pressure on international news outlets, according to CPJ research. Melissa Chan, a correspondent for Al-Jazeera, was forced to leave the country in May after the Chinese government declined to renew her credentials. The Times and Bloomberg News were censored domestically in 2012 after they reported on the financial assets held by the families of top leaders, including the incoming president, Xi Jinping.

The Times said it has six other accredited correspondents in China, and their visas were renewed for 2013 in a timely manner. The Times said it is still waiting for Chinese authorities to approve the accreditation of the paper’s new Beijing bureau chief.

  • For more data and analysis on China, visit CPJ’s China page here.