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At the time of Mr. Biden's visit, more than 30 journalists working for The Times or for Bloomberg in mainland China faced expulsion because the authorities had stopped processing their applications to renew their official credentials and residency visas for the new calendar year. Soon after Mr. Biden's intervention, Beijing began processing the applications again, with Chinese diplomats insisting that the delay had been routine.
Even so, the government has not acted on applications for Bloomberg journalists who are not yet working in China and are meant to replace at least five employees who have left the company's Beijing bureau. A representative of Bloomberg News declined to comment.
Nor has China given any sign that it will issue a journalist visa for Mr. Buckley or Mr. Pan, whose application was submitted nearly two years ago.
Mr. Pan was a bureau chief in Beijing and Moscow for The Washington Post before joining The Times. Mr. Buckley had lived in Beijing for 15 years, and his reporting career in China has included work for The Times as a researcher and for The International Herald Tribune and Reuters as a correspondent.
The Chinese government can process new resident journalist visa applications expeditiously, and it has approved many applications from other foreign news organizations while those from The Times and Bloomberg News have languished.
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Peter Ford, president of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China, expressed concern the government was using visas to influence coverage. "The lack of an official explanation invariably feeds suspicions that the government is punishing The New York Times for the content of its coverage," he said. "This falls short of international standards and is deplorable."
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times, has said that in recent conversations with the newspaper, Chinese officials have pointedly objected to articles that explore the intersection between elite politics and the economy. The suspension of visa renewals in November came after The Times reported about a disagreement inside Bloomberg News over whether to publish two such articles. The Times also drew official criticism after reporting that the United States government was investigating whether JPMorgan Chase had paid $1.8 million to a firm run by the daughter of Mr. Wen.