The White House is condemning China for expelling a New York Times reporter, calling on Beijing to lift restrictions on foreign journalists and unblock Web sites.
"The United States is deeply concerned that foreign journalists in China continue to face restrictions that impede their ability to do their jobs," press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement Thursday. "These restrictions and treatment are not consistent with freedom of the press — and stand in stark contrast with U.S. treatment of Chinese and other foreign journalists."
Chinese authorities ordered Austin Ramzy to leave the country Thursday after refusing to renew his work visa. He was the second reporter from the Times to be expelled in the past 13 months, as China cracks down on critical coverage by foreign outlets about the ruling Communist Party.
In December, Vice President Biden pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to expedite visas for U.S. journalists, and Carney said the Obama administration was "very disappointed" by Beijing's decision on Ramzy.
"We remain concerned that Mr. Ramzy and several other U.S. journalists have waited months, and in some cases years, for a decision on their press credentials and visa applications," Carney said. "We have raised our concerns about the treatment of journalists and media organizations repeatedly and at the highest levels with the Chinese government, and will continue to do so."