Dec. 26, 2015 (Washington Post) — The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that Ursula Gauthier, the Beijing correspondent for French news magazine L’Obs, would not be issued press credentials for 2016, effectively expelling her. Gauthier drew Beijing’s ire by writing an essay that questioned the Chinese government’s rhetoric on terrorism. In the statement, Lu Kang, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, said Gauthier was no longer “suitable” for her job in China and that her reporting “emboldened” terrorists.
Gauthier is the first foreign journalist to be booted from China since 2012, when Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan was forced to leave after doing a series of stories on secret prisons. Journalists for the New York Times and Bloomberg News were also denied visas after publishing prize-winning stories about the wealth of China’s top leaders and their families. (Both news organizations have since been issued new visas.)
Gauthier, a veteran journalist, has been in Beijing’s crosshairs since November, when she wrote an essay about China’s response to the November 13 terror attacks in Paris.
Her essay suggested Beijing’s expression of solidarity post-Paris attacks had “ulterior motives” to get international support for its claim that violence in China’s Xinjing Uighur Autonomous Region is linked to a global war on terrorism.