Ex-Peninsula Daily News reporter ousted by Chinese government

New York Times correspondent Austin Ramzy with schoolchildren before he was ordered out of China. — The Associated Press

New York Times correspondent Austin Ramzy with schoolchildren before he was ordered out of China. — The Associated Press

PORT ANGELES — Former Peninsula Daily News reporter Austin Ramzy, now a New York Times journalist, was forced to leave China on Thursday after Beijing refused to renew his journalist work visa.

The Chinese government has been displeased with the Times since it reported in late 2012 that close family members of former Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had amassed great wealth during Wen’s time in office.

The newspaper won a Pulitzer Prize for the expose.

‘Sad to be leaving’

“Heading out shortly and wanted to say thanks for all the kind thoughts,” Ramzy, 39, tweeted from Beijing Capital International Airport.

“Sad to be leaving Beijing. Hope I can return soon.”

Ramzy tweeted the following in a later transmission from Taipei, the capital of Taiwan:

“Arrived. And greeted by some hard-working gentlemen from the Apple Daily. Happy New Year, everyone.”

Apple Daily is a tabloid printed in Taiwan.

Ramzy covered Port Angeles city government and general-assignment topics in 2001 when he wrote for the PDN.

An Iowa native, he graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont with a degree in Asian studies.

Ramzy completed journalism school at the University of California, Berkeley.

He became a Beijing correspondent for Time magazine in 2007 before being recently hired by The New York Times.

Ramzy is the second Times correspondent in 13 months forced to leave China because of that government’s failure to process a visa application, according to the newspaper.

The government also has refused to issue a new journalist visa to several Bloomberg News employees after Bloomberg published a report on investments held by political figure Xi Jinping’s extended family.

Xi later became head of the Chinese Communist Party.

________

Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

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