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White House goes to bat for American journalists in China

- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2014

The White House on Thursday excoriated China for its treatment of American journalists, vowing to raise the issue "at the highest levels with the Chinese government."

The statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney came after New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy was forced to leave China after his press credentials weren't renewed. Chinese officials reportedly cited technical reasons for Mr. Ramzy's ouster, but it's believed the real reason is the journalist's critical coverage of corruption within China's Communist party.

"We remain concerned that Mr. Ramzy and several other U.S. journalists have waited months, in some cases years, for a decision on their press credentials and visa applications. We have raised our concerns about the treatment of journalists and media organizations repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Chinese government, and will continue to do so," Mr. Carney said in a statement. "Our two countries should be expanding media exchanges to enhance mutual understanding and trust, not restricting the ability of journalists to do their work … Around the world, the United States strongly supports universal rights and fundamental freedoms — central among them freedom of speech and freedom of the press."

Mr. Ramzy has been based in China for more than six years, according to the New York Times.

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