Biden Faults China on Foreign Press Crackdown

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from The New York Times,

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken up the cause of foreign correspondents facing banishment from China for unwelcome news coverage, publicly criticizing the Chinese government’s tactics and privately raising the issue with President Xi Jinping.

On the third day of his weeklong trip to Asia, Mr. Biden met Thursday with China-based journalists from news organizations affected by the crackdown, most notably The New York Times and Bloomberg News, to hear their concerns and describe his efforts on their behalf.

Reporters in the meeting said Mr. Biden told them that he had warned Mr. Xi, in a formal session and over dinner, that there would be repercussions for China, especially in the United States Congress, if it forced out journalists. But he said the Chinese leader appeared unmoved, insisting that the authorities treated reporters according to Chinese law.

The Chinese government has held up visa renewals for roughly two dozen correspondents from The Times and Bloomberg after the news organizations published investigative articles about the wealth of the families of top Chinese leaders. With their visas expiring by the end of 2013, the reporters will be forced to leave China — the first in about two weeks.

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