Most reporters at the New York Times and Bloomberg who were facing expulsion from China were issued renewed visas by the country’s government on Thursday, according to The Washington Post.
At the end of December, press credentials were renewed at the last moment for all Bloomberg journalists and some New York Times journalists who had been anxiously awaiting visas, but obtaining a resident visa was at that point still an uncertainty.
Unfortunately, Austin Ramzy, a prominent former Time magazine journalist who had been reporting in China for over six years, was not given press accreditation or a permanent visa since he joined the New York Times and may be forced to leave the country at the end of January.
The news has surfaced from a months-long standoff between the Chinese government and Western media outlets, specifically Bloomberg and the New York Times, whose China-based journalists faced mass expulsion from China.
The reporters were believed to be the target of retaliation from the Chinese government as a result of the publications’ 2012 investigative reports revealing secret wealth accumulated by the family members of China’s elite, including Xi Jinping and former premier Wen Jiabao.
In early December, during his week-long visit in Beijing, US vice-president Joe Biden personally stepped in to “forcefully complain” to Xi about the recent threats to expel the US journalists, saying that the decision would result in serious repercussions for the government.
The Washington Post announced that two of its correspondents also received visas, one in December and the second on Thursday.
According to the Post:
While journalists who are already in China have been able to renew their visas, neither the Times nor Bloomberg has been able to obtain visas for journalists newly hired for positions in China, journalists say.
The Times’ bureau chief, Philip Pan, has not been given a journalist visa for China after almost two years of trying. And last year, reporter Chris Buckley was forced out of the country after he left Reuters to work for the Times.