French journalist in China 'must apologise or leave' | Singapore Informer

China has refused to renew the press credentials of a French journalist, effectively expelling her, unless she recants one of her stories, the reporter told AFP Friday, the first such case since 2012.Ursula Gauthier, a Beijing-based correspondent for French news magazine L’Obs, must issue a public apology for an article she wrote last month or China’s foreign ministry will not renew her press credentials, set to expire on December 31, officials told Gauthier on Christmas Day. “They confirmed that if I did not make a public apology on all the points that had ‘hurt the Chinese people’ … my press card would not be renewed and I would have to leave on December 31,” she told AFP. Gauthier would be the first foreign correspondent in China to be expelled since the 2012 expulsion of Melissa Chan, correspondent for the English-language service of Al Jazeera. While the domestic media is subject to strict control and many topics are taboo, the foreign media is free to publish on any topic. However, foreign journalists frequently complain of harassment by the authorities while conducting routine reporting. Her article in L’Obs triggered condemnation from Beijing and a virulent campaign in the state-run Global Times and China Daily, as well as thousands of often violent and abusive comments from Chinese Internet users. Her photo was published online. Entitled “After the attacks (on Paris), Chinese solidarity is not without ulterior motives”, her essay spoke of China’s anti-terrorism policies in the country’s western region of Xinjiang, homeland of the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority — many of whom complain of…

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