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China: Al Jazeera reporter expelled for 'breaking Chinese laws'

Chinese authorities forced Al Jazeera English to close its China news operations, and suggested that its reporter had broken unspecified laws and behaved unethically.

By Staff writer / May 8, 2012

A picture of Al Jazeera correspondent Melissa Chan is seen at their China bureau office, in Beijing Tuesday, May 8. Al Jazeera has closed the China bureau for its English channel after Chinese authorities refused to renew Chan's visa, marking the first such expulsion of an accredited foreign correspondent since 1998.

Jason Lee/Reuters

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Beijing

The Chinese government refused to explain Tuesday why it had expelled the the English language correspondent of Al Jazeera, but hinted at charges she had broken Chinese laws and behaved unethically.
 
“Foreign journalists should abide by Chinese laws and regulations and abide by professional ethics,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, in answer to a question as to why the correspondent, Melissa Chan, had been expelled from the country.

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“I think the relevant journalists are very clear about what kind of regulations they have broken,” Mr. Hong added.
 
Ms. Chan’s expulsion marks the first time an accredited foreign correspondent living in China has been ejected since 1998. Her departure prompted the Qatar-based Al Jazeera English channel to close its Beijing bureau, a spokesman for the network said on Tuesday.

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