China’s broadcasting regulator has banned BBC World Information, accusing it of flouting pointers over a hard-hitting report on Beijing’s therapy of the nation’s Uighur minority.
The choice got here simply days after Britain’s personal regulator revoked the licence of Chinese language broadcaster CGTN for breaking UK regulation on state-backed possession, and provoked offended accusations of censorship from London.
Thursday’s transfer will do little to enhance relations between the 2 international locations, which have been more and more strained by China’s introduction of a safety regulation in Britain’s former colony, Hong Kong.
London’s choice to supply thousands and thousands of Hong Kongers a pathway to British citizenship has solely additional infuriated Beijing, which has accused Britain of behaving with a “colonial mentality”.
London has additionally angered Beijing by banning Chinese language telecoms group Huawei from involvement in its 5G community after america raised spying fears.
In an in a single day assertion, Beijing’s Nationwide Radio and Tv Administration mentioned BBC World Information experiences about China had been discovered to “severely violate” broadcast pointers.
That features “the requirement that information needs to be truthful and honest” and never “hurt China’s nationwide pursuits”.
The administrator “doesn’t allow the BBC to proceed broadcasting in China, and doesn’t settle for its new annual software for broadcast”, it added.
The BBC mentioned it was “upset” with the transfer, which applies to mainland China, the place the channel is already censored and restricted to worldwide accommodations.
“The BBC is the world’s most trusted worldwide information broadcaster and experiences on tales from world wide pretty, impartially and with out worry or favour,” a BBC spokeswoman mentioned.
UK Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab referred to as the ban “an unacceptable curbing of media freedom”.
“China has a few of the most extreme restrictions on media and web freedoms throughout the globe, and this newest step will solely harm China’s popularity within the eyes of the world,” he added.
In Washington, State Division spokesman Ned Worth denounced the BBC ban and referred to as on China to permit an “knowledgeable citizenry” that may freely alternate concepts.
“We name on the PRC and different nations with authoritarian controls over their inhabitants to permit their full entry to the web and media,” Worth instructed reporters, referring to the Individuals’s Republic of China.
On Friday, public broadcaster Radio Tv Hong Kong (RTHK) — an unbiased however government-funded service based mostly within the former British territory — additionally introduced it could “droop the relay of BBC World Service and BBC Information Weekly”.
British lawmaker Tom Tugendhat, a hawk on UK-China ties, criticised Beijing’s transfer as “each regrettable and completely unsurprising”.
“Whereas it is a largely symbolic tit-for-tat retaliatory transfer, the deteriorating surroundings for journalism in China is a priority for us all,” he instructed AFP.
Apart from its reporting on Xinjiang, the BBC has additionally aired a hard-hitting documentary accusing China of overlaying up the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic across the metropolis of Wuhan in late 2019.
It revealed its report detailing harrowing accounts of torture and sexual violence towards Uighur girls in Chinese language camps in Xinjiang on February 3.
The prolonged investigation based mostly on witness testimonies reported claims of systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture of feminine detainees by police and guards within the western area.
The world is residence to the primarily Muslim Uighur minority and has seen a sweeping safety crackdown by Chinese language forces lately.
Rights teams imagine at the least a million Uighurs and different Turkic-speaking Muslims are incarcerated in camps in Xinjiang.
The Chinese language overseas ministry has dismissed the BBC investigation as “false”.
Britain’s authorities mentioned it confirmed “clearly evil acts”, and there was robust condemnation from the US State Division.
However London has resisted strain to comply with the present and former US administrations and name the therapy of the Uighurs “genocide”.
China is accused of compelling Uighurs to parrot Communist propaganda and surrender Islam, of forcibly sterilising girls and imposing a regime of pressured labour.
After initially denying the camps existed, China’s authorities acknowledged them, saying they had been vocational coaching centres geared toward combating Islamic extremism.
China final week mentioned British regulator Ofcom’s choice to tug CGTN from the airwaves was based mostly on “ideological prejudice and political causes”.