Beijing: China on Friday said that it did not expel a New York Times correspondent and blamed his previous employer for the visa controversy as it failed to undertake the proper procedure when he quit that organisation.
NYT journalist Chris Buckley`s visa application has not been processed as an international news agency for which he worked for earlier or the American daily complied with regulations, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today.
Asked whether the denial of accreditation was due to the Times recent report about the accumulation of USD 2.7 billion assets by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Hua said Beckley`s previous employer (Thomson Reuters) has not notified his decision to quit the organisation nor Buckley has returned his previous accreditation card, which was mandatory requirement.
"So we do not know who is Chris Buckley`s employer at the moment. Therefore his application as journalist of the NYT does not meet the regulations of the Chinese side. So there is no such thing of the rejection of visa extension and there is no such thing of Chris being expelled," she said.
"From recent reports of certain media we can see that, these media still looking at China through coloured lens. They report China with stereo type. We hope that they can keep up pace with China and report China in objective and just manners," she said.
Australian national Buckley, who worked in China for over a decade, had to leave for Hong Kong with his family towards the end of December after failing to secure the accreditation which is mandatory to get resident visa.
NYT also alleged that besides Buckley`s visa, China has also kept its new Beijing bureau chief Philip P Pan`s accreditation pending. Pan reportedly applied in March, but his visa has not been processed.
Hua also denied any prevalence of press censorship in the media, while responding to question about allegations by Chinese journalists of Southern Weekly in Guangdong province that a Communist party official interfered in their reporting.
"No so called news censorship in China. Chinese government protects freedom of news report and has given full play to news media in terms of supervision," she said.
In an unprecedented action, several journalists of the weekly protested the interference by Tuo Zhen, the propaganda chief of Guangdong province in altering its New Year editorial removing all critical references. The journalists openly called for his removal.
All local media in China is controlled by the government and no private media has not yet been permitted.