City Desk

Post’s Chinese Visa Fight Ends With a Whimper

So much for the Washington Post's three-year long attempt to actually get its China bureau chief into China. Ever since the Post hired Andrew Higgins in 2009, the paper has been trying to convince the Chinese government to grant him a visa, even enlisting the services of Henry Kissinger at one point.

The Chinese, you see, haven't forgiven Higgins for reporting on dissidents that earned him a boot from the country in 1991. That hasn't stopped Higgins from covering China—he follows the Chinese impact on the Asian countries he can travel to, and judging from his datelines, he can still go to Hong Kong.

But Higgins won't need those workarounds any more. According to an internal newsroom memo sent out this afternoon by Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl, a still visaless Higgins is leaving the paper to cover Europe for the New York Times.

"He brought to light details of the North Korean leader's school days; described titanic maritime struggles among Asia's rising powers; and called attention to a "red nobility'' comprised of China's ruling families," Jehl writes. According to another Times correspondent, Higgins will be the paper's Brussels bureau chief.

Jehl's memo, after the jump

We wish Andy Higgins well as he moves on from his post as China bureau chief to a new job in Europe with The New York Times. In his three years at the Post, Andy has been a terrific reporter. He brought to light details of the North Korean leader's school days; described titanic maritime struggles among Asia's rising powers; and called attention to a "red nobility'' comprised of China's ruling families. Along with Chico Harlan, he was honored by the Overseas Press Club in April for his deeply human coverage of the 2011 triple disaster in Japan. He'll leave the Post in early October.

Doug

Chinese flag photo by Shutterstock

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