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Australian Media’s Last Reporters in China Flee Amid Tensions

  • Two journalists spent five days under consular protection
  • Australian diplomats negotiated permission for them to leave
Updated on

Two Australian journalists based in China have fled the country as diplomatic relations between the trading partners worsen.

Bill Birtles, the Australian Broadcasting Corp.’s Beijing correspondent, and Mike Smith, the Australian Financial Review’s Shanghai correspondent, left the country after Chinese police demanded interviews with them, according to Smith. The men were initially banned from leaving and spent five days under consular protection until Australian diplomats could negotiate their departure.