Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Al Jazeera reporter forced out of China

Hong Kong (CNN) -- The international broadcaster Al Jazeera said it had closed its English-language bureau in Beijing after the Chinese authorities refused to renew the press credentials of its correspondent in the country, Melissa Chan.

The broadcaster expressed disappointment with the decision, which it said came after repeated attempts to apply for a visa through the normal procedures.

It said it had no choice but to close the bureau because China had also denied its requests for a correspondent to replace Chan.

"We are committed to our coverage of China," Salah Negm, director of news at Al Jazeera English, said in an article on the broadcaster's website. "Al Jazeera Media Network will continue to work with the Chinese authorities in order to reopen our Beijing bureau."

At a Ministry of Foreign Affairs press conference Tuesday, spokesman Hong Lei said China welcomed objective reporting from foreign journalists, describing the reporting environment as "very open and free." Read More