The White House is criticizing China's restrictions on press freedom after a New York Times journalist was forced to leave the country.

The departure Thursday of Austin Ramzy came despite Vice President Joe Biden last month raising with China's leader Xi Jinping the problems faced by journalists working for U.S. news organizations.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the U.S. is "very disappointed" over Ramzy and remains concerned that several other U.S. journalists have waited months or years for a decision on their press credentials and visas.

Carney also urged China to unblock U.S. media websites and eliminate other restrictions on journalists.

Ramzy is the second Times reporter in 13 months to leave the mainland over visa issues, as China intensifies efforts to control foreign media coverage.