It's been over a decade since China expelled any accredited foreign journalists and now correspondents there have reacted angrily after one working - for English arm of the broadcasting network, Al Jazeera - has been denied accreditation.

Its Chinese bureau has now shut down and a desk is empty where Melissa Chan once sat. She's an American citizen, who'd been reporting from there since 2007. Al Jazeera has produced a number of critical programmes about China in recent years, including one examining the alleged use of prison labour to make products sold in Western markets. Ms Chan is on the Board of the Foreign Corrrespondents' Club of China. The club's Vice Chair, Peter Ford gave a telephone interview saying the decision to deny a visa undermines the freedom to report.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry defended its decision saying it addressed the problem 'in accordance with laws and regulations'. Accreditation for journalists has to be renewed annually. Al Jazeera, based in Qatar said it'd continue to cover China and hoped to work with Beijing to reopen its bureau.

Reporter: Marverine Cole