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Monday, February 06, 2012

Harper China delegation includes oil, banking executives minus Falun Gong reporter

Reporter denied visa

But not everyone planning to travel with the Canadian delegation made it on the trip. A reporter for the Epoch Times was denied a visa to visit China.

Matthew Little, who is an accredited member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery, had a spot reserved on the plane along with other Canadian reporters, but couldn't get permission from China to enter the country.

In a statement to CBC News, Epoch Times's Canadian publisher Cindy Gu said it's disappointing but not surprising that Little wasn't granted a visa.

"The Epoch Times has published many articles critical of the Chinese regime, and its repression of basic freedoms. The regime has continually made efforts to block our reporting," she said.

The Epoch Times was founded by Falun Gong practitioners and doesn't shrink from criticizing the Chinese government over its human rights abuses. The original Chinese-language Epoch Times started publishing in response to a need for uncensored news coverage in China, according to the company's website. It publishes in 17 languages around the world.

Harper's own delegation includes a wider business focus, with top executives from Air Canada, SNC-Lavalin and Bombardier, Manulife and Scotiabank.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz will also visit the country.

More at CBC

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