Beijing, May 8: Qatar-based news network Al-Jazeera has said that it has been forced to close its English-language bureau in China after its reporter there was expelled.
Al-Jazeera said it “had no other choice” than to close its Beijing bureau after China failed to renew the press credentials and visa of Melissa Chan.
According to The BBC, officials have also refused to allow a replacement for Chan, Al-Jazeera’s China correspondent since 2007.
The channel expressed its disappointment in a statement, adding that it had been requesting additional visas for correspondents for ‘quite some time’.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said it was ‘appalled’ by the decision.
FCCC said in a statement that Chan’s expulsion followed three months of ‘uncertainty’ when she was issued short-term press credentials instead of the standard one-year accreditation.
It is believed that this is the first expulsion of an accredited journalist since 1998 when Der Spiegel’s correspondent Juergen Kremb was expelled for allegedly being in possession of state secrets. (ANI)