According to a report in yesterday’s Ming Pao Daily, an application for a Hong Kong work visa by veteran Chinese journalist Zhang Ping (张平), generally known by the penname Chang Ping (长平), has been held up for eight months by the Immigration Department, raising concerns that his application might be subject to political interference by Chinese authorities.
Chang, a well-known Chinese commentary writer who was formerly a top editor at both Southern Weekend and Southern Metropolis Daily, was offered a position at Hong Kong’s Sun TV in March this year and filed a visa application under Hong Kong’s Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals. Visas under the scheme generally require no more than four weeks to process, but reportedly neither Chang nor his would-be employer have received notice of acceptance or denial.
“I have asked them [the Immigration Department] about it, and they simply say that [my application] is under review,” Chang was quoted by the paper as saying.
Chinese authorities recently blocked internet access on the mainland to an online magazine published by Sun TV that Chang Ping was expected to head up as chief editor.