Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Timeline: Foreign journalists under pressure in China

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
December 23, 2013 -- Updated 0119 GMT (0919 HKT)
A policeman stands before a portrait of Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Gate outside the Forbidden City in Beijing on Oct. 29.
A policeman stands before a portrait of Mao Zedong at Tiananmen Gate outside the Forbidden City in Beijing on Oct. 29.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Foreign journalists working in China have faced a number of "negative trends" in past year
  • Some reporters experienced unexplained delays renewing press cards and visas.
  • Visa delays follow a series of high-profile reports on finances of Chinese leadership.

(CNN) -- Foreign journalists working in China have faced a number of "negative trends" over the past year, according to the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China.

Several journalists from U.S. news organizations Bloomberg and the New York Times faced unexplained delays in renewing their press cards and visas after publishing controversial stories.

Here's a timeline of the key moments leading up to the visa row:

May 8, 2012

Al Jazeera is forced to close its English-language bureau in China and is refused a visa renewal for correspondent Melissa Chan. Though Chinese officials didn't elaborate on the reasons, observers believe it was due to the network's decision to run a documentary about China's controversial "re-education through labor" camps.

June 29, 2012

Bloomberg publishes piece about the expanding business interests of Chinese President Xi Jinping's extended family as he rose to power. Bloomberg's website is later blocked in China.

October 25, 2012

New York Times, citing corporate and regulatory records, reports that family members of then Premier Wen Jiabao had amassed a fortune worth billions of dollars.

October 26, 2012

China blocks New York Times website after story on Wen Jiabao's family wealth.

December 31, 2012

New York Times correspondent Chris Buckley is forced to leave China after he was refused a visa. He had rejoined the Times after moving from Reuters. The authorities suggested his application was filed incorrectly.

November 8, 2013

New York Times publishes piece suggesting that Bloomberg had taken a decision to curb stories liable to cause anger in China.

November 9, 2013

Veteran journalist Paul Mooney is denied a visa to work in China in a new position with Reuters. He is not given a reason.

November 13, 2013

New York Times runs a piece linking JPMorgan Chase to an obscure consulting firm in China run by 32-year-old Lily Chang -- the alias for "Wen Ruchun," the daughter of Wen Jiabao.

December 5, 2013

U.S. President Joe Biden criticizes China's treatment of U.S. journalists and highlights the lack of press freedom in China as he meets U.S. reporters in Beijing.

December 9, 2013

In its year-end statement, the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said that Chinese authorities were increasingly using the denial of visas, or delays in their approval, in an apparent effort to influence journalists' coverage. It said that no correspondents for the New York Times and Bloomberg had been able to renew their annual residence visas, which had been subject to unusual and unexplained delays.

December 19, 2013

Bloomberg reporters and some New York Times reporters are issued press cards. New York Times spokesperson tells CNN company is hopeful that its resident journalists will be issued visas that will allow them to continue to work in the country.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0545 GMT (1345 HKT)
Reforms to the grueling gaokao - the competitive college entrance examination - don't make the grade, says educator Jiang Xueqin.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Beijing grapples with reports from Iraq that a Chinese national fighting for ISIS has been captured.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT)
CNN's David McKenzie has tasted everything from worms to grasshoppers while on the road; China's cockroaches are his latest culinary adventure.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 0057 GMT (0857 HKT)
Beijing rules only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
China warns the United States to end its military surveillance flights near Chinese territory.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
China has produced elite national athletes but some argue the emphasis on winning discourages children. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0513 GMT (1313 HKT)
Chinese are turning to overseas personal shoppers to get their hands on luxury goods at lower prices.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 0908 GMT (1708 HKT)
Experts say rapidly rising numbers of Christians are making it harder for authorities to control the religion's spread.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 0452 GMT (1252 HKT)
"I'm proud of their moral standing," says Harvey Humphrey. His parents are accused of corporate crimes in China.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1942 GMT (0342 HKT)
A TV confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex has capped the dramatic fall of one of China's most high-profile social media celebrities.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has snared its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0712 GMT (1512 HKT)
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Is the Chinese president a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0344 GMT (1144 HKT)
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
ADVERTISEMENT