In 2010, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave an important speech condemning government censorship, calling for greater Internet freedom and reiterating that freedom of expression was a vital U.S. value. But during the past two weeks, as issues of press censorship in China have become front-page news, the State Department has remained noticeably silent, even as that censorship has impacted the U.S. media.
On Dec. 31, 2012, the New York Times announced that the Chinese government had failed to process the journalist visa of one of its Beijing correspondents, Chris Buckley, before his old visa expired. Without a valid visa, Buckley and his family were forced to leave China. Although the Chinese government has stated that Buckley's visa renewal application is "still under consideration," Beijing has not explained the delay.
Many in the Western media suspect that the move is retribution for two recent exposes by Times reporter David Barboza on the enormous sums of wealth and key investments acquired by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's family.