After China Denies Visa, Chan Visits OPC

Melissa Chan was a Yale undergrad when she won the Alexander Kendrick Scholarship from the OPC Foundation in 2001. She went on to study at the London School of Economics; became a producer/reporter for Al Jazeera English in Beijing and was the bureau’s main correspondent last month when her expulsion from China received worldwide attention. The Chinese government refused to allow another correspondent to replace her, effectively closing the Al Jazeera English bureau. Al Jazeera’s original channel remains open in China.

Chan, who is an OPC member, was passing through New York en route to her 10th college reunion in New Haven, when OPC Executive Director Sonya K. Fry invited her to stop by after the May board meeting to meet members of the board. Chan said the reason for her expulsion remains unclear.

The government started sending signals by cutting the time between visa applications from every 6 months to every few months. Chan said she hopes to return to China because she has gained knowledge about the country that it would be a shame to waste. Chan will spend the summer at the headquarters of Al Jazeera in Doha and then in September, she starts a Knight Fellowship at Stanford.