Austin Ramzy, a New York Times reporter who was forced to leave Beijing on Thursday, will be working from Taipei for The Times while continuing to seek a long-term residency visa that would allow him to return to the mainland, the South China Morning Post learned on Thursday.
This means Ramzy, who was a Beijing-based correspondent for Time magazine before joining the New York Times in May 2013, would become the first Times reporter based in Taiwan, according to a Twitter message by The Times' Beijing reporter Edward Wong.
“China is forcing out Austin Ramzy today after 6.5 years. He will be the first NYT reporter based in Taiwan,” Wong tweeted.
China is forcing out Austin Ramzy today after 6.5 years. He will be first NYT reporter based in Taiwan. 新年快乐@austinramzy 
— Edward Wong (@comradewong) January 30, 2014 
“China is making futile attempts to influence news coverage by blocking journalist visas and global websites,” he added.
Ramzy’s expulsion came just months after US Vice President Joe Biden raised concerns over threats to expel American journalists when visiting China in December, further straining relations between Beijing and Washington.
Bike box checked and I'm now thru immigration. Flight delayed an hour. Air China isn't ready to let me go just yet.
— Austin Ramzy (@austinramzy) January 30, 2014 
“Heading out shortly and wanted to say thanks for all the kind thoughts. Sad to be leaving Beijing. Hope I can return soon, “Ramzy tweeted on Thursday morning, the day his visa expires.
Beijing said Ramzy, 39, had violated Chinese regulations last year by continuing to travel to and from the country using the journalist visa he was issued before he left his previous employer, Time magazine, according to The Times .
“Wishing Austin a safe departure, I will be singing Morrissey’s The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get,” tweeted Chris Buckley, another Times reporter on Thursday.
Buckley, a veteran China reporter, was forced to leave Beijing at the end of 2012 due to an unprocessed visa application, after he left Reuters to work for The Times. Buckley now works from Hong Kong.
Expulsions of foreign journalists are believed to be retaliation by the Beijing authorities, who were angered by news reports revealing the family wealth of the Commnist party’s top leaders. Soon after The Times published reports in 2012 revealing the secret wealth accumulated by family members of former premier Wen Jiabao, its English and Chinese language websites were blocked in China. Both still remain blocked.