Al Jazeera reporter hopes to go back to China

Former Beijing correspondent says she broke no laws, reported honestly and wants to return to "place I love" soon.

    Al Jazeera reporter hopes to go back to China
    Melissa Chan reported on issues including social justice, labour rights and human rights abuses [Al Jazeera]

    Al Jazeera English's former correspondent in China says she covered the country honestly and equitably and hopes to return to the country sooner rather than later despite having her press credentials revoked.

    Al Jazeera English announced earlier this week that it would close its bureau in Beijing after authorities refused to renew Melissa Chan's press credentials and visa, or allow a replacement journalist.

    Chan had been the channel's correspondent in the Chinese capital since 2007, filing nearly 400 reports on topics including domestic politics, social justice, labour rights and human rights abuses.

    Asked about the non-renewal of Chan's credentials at a press briefing on Tuesday, a foreign ministry spokesman said reporters working in China "should abide by Chinese laws and regulations", according to an Associated Press report.

    But in an article for Al Jazeera , Chan said: "I have not broken any laws. And I believe I have tried to cover China as honestly and equitably as one can."

    Reflecting on her time in China, Chan said she had tried to capture the contradictions of a country undergoing rapid economic and social transformation despite corruption, human rights abuses and one-party rule.

    "One minute you marvel at the speedy transformation, the new wealth, the great hope of many. Another minute, you're disgusted by the corruption, the systemic problems of a one-party authoritarian state, and the trampling of individual human rights and dignity," wrote Chan.

    China faces a critical political year, with a younger generation of Communist Party officials set to take power, Chan said, calling on leaders to display “audacity” in reforming the country’s legal system.

    "China has a lot going for it, and that is especially felt when you've spent so much time talking to the people there. They can be incredibly resilient, despite the fact that some have definitely received the short end of the stick.

    "Like any country, people also worry and complain, and like journalists on any beat, I've looked at those worries and complaints. It's part of the process of making a place I love a better one for its people [and] I hope to be back in China one day, sooner rather than later."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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