Two Australian journalists based in China have fled the country as diplomatic relations between business partners deteriorate.
“The Australian Government has provided consular assistance to two Australian journalists in China to aid their return,” Foreign Minister Marijne Payne said in a statement on Tuesday. “Our embassy in Beijing and the consulate-general in Shanghai engaged with the Chinese government officials to ensure their well-being and return.”
The journalist was the last recognized journalist for Australian media based in mainland China. According to ABC reports, Bill Broadcast, Beijing correspondent of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Shanghai correspondent of the Australian Financial Review Mike Smith were kicked out of the country.
Still other Australian citizens are working as journalists in China for American, British and other media companies.
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He bids farewell to China a week after being revealed from Australia China-born Cheng Lei, an Australian citizen who worked for eight years as an anchor in a government-run English-language news channel, was detained by authorities.
“The Australian government continues to provide consular assistance to detained Australian citizens in China,” Payne said in Tuesday’s statement.
Australia’s relationship with its biggest trading partner has soured since Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government called in April to allow independent investigators to investigate the source of the epidemic in Wuhan’s wet markets. China subsequently placed tariffs, launched import checks and approved some Australian food imports.
In response to the Trump administration limiting visa conditions for Chinese journalists in the US, Beijing officials There was a delay in renewing the press credentials of some journalists who worked for American media outlets including Bloomberg News, CNN and the Wall Street Journal.
Those reporters in Beijing were told that their residency at this stage would be extended to 6 November, coinciding with the date when the 90-day visa granted to the Chinese press in the US would need to be renewed. .
ABC reported that Birtles had been warned by Australian diplomats about a week ago that he should leave China. He was given a travel ban which was lifted after being interviewed by Chinese authorities.
A separate interview with Smith was conducted by authorities on Monday; The pair flew from Sydney to Sydney on Monday night.
Australia’s publicly funded national broadcaster ABC opened its Beijing bureau in 1973 after normalizing relations between countries. Other Australians had refused journalist visas in recent months.