Ursula Gauthier, of the French news magazine L’Obs, now says she will be forced to leave the country after the government said it would not renew her press credentials for the new year in response to a critical report on Beijing’s policies in the troubled western region of Xinjiang.
Beijing refused to grant an extension to her press credentials, citing a report she wrote, supports acts of violence by Uighurs that China considers terrorist activity.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed Ursula will not be allowed to continue working in China for refusing to apologise for her article.
"Beautiful solidarity, but not entirely free of ulterior motives," Gauthier wrote in her article.
“She did not make a serious apology to the Chinese public for her erroneous remarks on terrorist actions, and is no longer suitable to continue working in China,” said Lu Kang, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.
According to the authorities, she published a report which blatantly championed acts of terrorism and slaughter of innocent civilians, igniting indignation among the Chinese people.
Gauthier article published after the Paris attack in November suggested China’s solidarity with France might have an ulterior motive – to justify its own crackdowns in Xinjiang.
The Global Times only published a commentary on Gauthier’s article but not the article itself.
Gauthier’s report said hours after Chinese President Xi Jinping told French President Francois Hollande that China stood by France in the wake of the Paris attacks in November, China’s public security ministry announced the capture of unidentified suspects over a coal mine attack in September in Xinjiang.
Hundreds have been killed in recent years in the region, beset by ethnic tensions which Uighur groups blame on repressive government policies.
China has however denied any human rights abuses and says it faces a campaign from Islamist radicals and separatists.
Melissa Chan, a reporter for Al Jazeera’s English language channel in Beijing, was forced to leave China in May 2012, after authorities refused to renew her press credentials over unspecified alleged violations of Chinese regulations.