The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) announced on Wednesday that it would close the China bureau after the communist regime did not respond to its journalist visa applications.

CBC News Editor-in-Chief Brodie Fenlon wrote in a blogspot that the media firm had been working with Chinese officials over the issue for the past two years but had achieved no result. 

It said that visa applications for CBC journalists had been met “by months-long silence from Chinese officials.” 

Fenlon said, “There is no point keeping an empty bureau when we could easily set up elsewhere in a different country that welcomes journalists and respects journalistic scrutiny.”

He added, “Closing the Beijing bureau is the last thing we want to do, but our hand has been forced.”

The bureau office, located in one of the high-security diplomatic compounds in Beijing, has been in the country for over 40 years.  

China and Canada experienced a tense relationship when China jailed two Canadian citizens shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer at U.S. extradition request in 2019. 

After reaching a deal with the U.S. in Meng’s case, the communist regime released the two Canadians the same day as Meng returned to China.   

CBC said that its journalists whose visas were ignored by Beijing would work from Taiwan and other countries that protect free speech.

A report from the Foreign Correspondents Club of China in January said that it was “troubled by the breakneck speed by which media freedom is declining in China.”

The report noted that Chinese officials often use COVID as a justification to “delay approvals for journalist visas, shut down reporting trips, deny access to certain locations and interview requests.”

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