6/ A foreign journalist visa’s normal duration in China is 12 months. Sudworth’s wife, Yvonne Murray, the China correspondent of RTE, the Irish broadcaster, left with him.
— Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (@fccchina) March 31, 2021
The BBC’s Beijing correspondent John Sudworth has left China and moved to Taiwan following pressure and threats from the Chinese authorities.
He and his family were followed to the airport and into the check-in area by plainclothes police officers. His wife, Yvonne Murray, is the China correspondent for the Irish public broadcaster RTE.
Sudworth, who has won awards for his reporting on the treatment of the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang region, left Beijing with his family.
The BBC says it is proud of his reporting and he remains its China correspondent.
Meanwhile, Ms Murray said:
“Two of our children were born in China, they all speak fluent Chinese, so for them it is home and it’s particularly distressing for them facing the reality that they might never be able to go back, as long as the Chinese state is so determined to target and punish journalists for simply doing their job.
“But we will try to hold on to the memories we’ve made. China is an extraordinarily colourful, culturally rich country. Friendships we forged with Chinese people over the years can’t be taken from us.
“The secret police who followed us as we left – while a sad departing memory – can’t erase all the other happy memories.”