denied a visa renewal and forced to leave the country.he US Embassy in Beijing has voiced its “deep concern” over China’s treatment of foreign and domestic journalists after Buzzfeed’s China bureau chief Megha Rajagopalan was
Rajagopalan was not given a proper explanation for why her visa was not renewed with authorities calling it a “process thing,” she tweeted on Wednesday, however, most suspect that Rajagopalan was kicked out because she has earned a reputation of being one of the boldest foreign journalists in reporting about Xinjiang, writing groundbreaking articles about the sprawling state surveillance system that Beijing is building in the region, as well as stories about the mass repression and detainments of Uighurs.
Over the years, China has been known to refuse to renew the visas of foreign journalists who report on human rights abuses or on the wealth of the families of the Party’s elite. Observers see this policy as a way for Beijing to pressure reporters into steering clear of certain sensitive subjects or risk being kicked out of the country.
So the list of journalists who've either been expelled or inexplicably had visa renewals denied by China since 2012 now includes:@meghara @ugauthier @austinramzy@pjmooney @melissakchan
(Plus @ChuBailiang, who has since been allowed back)
— Eric Fish (@ericfish85) August 22, 2018
The Associated Pressreports that the US Embassy in Beijing has issued a statement today, saying: “The United States is deeply concerned that foreign and domestic journalists in China continue to face excessive restrictions that impede their ability to do their jobs.”
Some of the impediments listed in the statement include delays in the processing of foreign journalist visas, travel restrictions, and violence at the hands of local authorities. The statement does not mention Rajagopalan by name.
During a regular press conference in Beijing yesterday, China Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang dismissed speculation that Rajagopalan had been denied a visa because of her Xinjiang reporting, seeming to imply that Rajagopalan had never been accredited in the first place.
“All these speculations are based on a wrong premise,” Lu said. “There is no such question of canceling her journalist visa since in the first place she is not a journalist stationed in China.”
Meanwhile, Rajagopalan has also become the subject of a lengthy and rambling editorial from the nationalistic state-run tabloid, the Global Times, titled, “Western hysteria over journalist visa rejection reveals a thirst for the negative.” The op-ed accuses Rajagopalan of writing “distorted reports” about Xinjiang, “feeding the Western media narrative that favors stories critical of how China governs the autonomous region.”
Here’s some more excerpts from the piece:
Western media has reinforced their prejudices against China. US aggression toward the country continues to rise alongside China’s global ascent. Other foreign countries have also become abnormally anxious. Western correspondents find it too easy to pick on the Eastern giant with a political system they cannot understand and confounds them, even more, when it becomes clear that China has achieved an economic miracle.
Western news sources tailor their China reports in efforts to soothe readers by using Chinese stereotypes. Some platforms will use the Internet to stir confusion within Chinese society.
Some Western media outlets believe they are entitled to do whatever they want, but such nonsense is unacceptable. Friction between both sides will remain inevitable, and it will continue regardless of the source.
While not everyone may agree with the Global Times’ take, it appears that the editorial has at least one fan…
does anyone have a print copy of this they can send me? https://t.co/5wwgJP8Vqs
— Megha Rajagopalan (@meghara) August 24, 2018