Melissa Chan, Al Jazeera correspondent gets "China Pulitzer Prize" - expulsion
By Peter Samuel
No greater honor can be conferred on a journalist in China, they say, than to be expelled by the little Hitlers of that country's Foreign Ministry, which arrogates to itself the right to decide which of the country's people shall be interviewed by foreign media.
The latest to receive the "Chinese Pulitzer" honor is Melissa Chan, the American born correspondent for Al Jazeera-English TV whose visa renewal was recently denied - requiring her to close up her apartment in Beijing and fly home to the US this week.
Chan had the effrontery to report regularly on the reality of China's 'development' including its shoddy and underused 'high speed' rail, its continued use of 'reeducation' labor camps, the grandiose, failing Three Gorges Dam, and most embarrassingly on the country's huge housing bubble beside which the devastation of Fannie and Freddy in the US are modest by comparison.
Ghost metropolis for a million revealed - Ordos
Melissa Chan it was who discovered and reported from the new city of Ordos in the northern province of Mongolia where Chinese state banks spent $585 billion over five years to build a whole new city for a million residents.
It is billed as economic "stimulus."
Reported Chan in 2009 standing in a city of empty buildings: "They built the city of the future for one million residents in just five years. But no one moved in. The city stands empty."
Except for construction workers building more empty buildings.
She interviewed people who said the reason no one would move in was simple: The housing cost way too much. And there were no jobs.
Ghost city still
She went back more recently for a followup, saying it is still almost empty: "A ghost city, with ghost apartments..."
Central planners mess up.
Most amazing, they keep on building, ensuring that when it comes, the crash will be even bigger.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China (FCCC) in Beijing: "(Chan's expulsion) is the most extreme example of a recent pattern of using journalist visas in an attempt to censor and intimidate foreign correspondents in China.
"The FCCC believes that foreign news organizations, not the Chinese government, have the right to choose who works for them in China, in line with international standards."
What hope is there for a country that cannot live with a reporting of its mistakes.