A spokeswoman for China's foreign ministry on Friday refuted accusations that the country refused to renew a foreign reporter's visa, saying the reporter breached the country's protocol.
"China's stance on foreign media and journalists is clear," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing, adding that the Chinese side has addressed related issues in accordance with laws and regulations.
Hua made the remarks in response to a question on reporter Chris Buckley's departure from Beijing. Some foreign media have reported that Buckley left for Hong Kong on Monday after authorities did not issue him a working visa for 2013 before the end of 2012.
"The New York Times claimed Chris Buckley as its Beijing correspondent, but as we all know, he has been holding credentials for another foreign media outlet for years," Hua said, referring to the news agency Reuters.
Hua said if Buckley resigned from Reuters, the news agency should have completed the reporter's resignation procedures with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with Chinese regulations.
"So far, we have neither received any notice of resignation (from Reuters), nor has the press card, which was issued by the information department (of the foreign ministry), been returned by Chris Buckley," said the spokeswoman. "So, we do not know who his real boss is now."
The reporter's application as a New York Times reporter breached Chinese regulations, Hua said, adding that it was neither an issue of China refusing to extend his visa, nor of him being forced to leave.