On Thursday, China’s media regulator blocked BBC World News, accusing the news station of violating specific directives for the country’s media after it broadcast a controversial report on how the Asian power deals with the Uyghur minority.
The decision came days after the British regulator canceled the license of the Chinese “CGTN” network for breaching British law with regard to state-backed property, prompting angry accusations of censorship by London.
The latest developments will further exacerbate tension between the two countries, whose relationship has deteriorated with the imposition of a security law by China in Hong Kong, the former British colony.
Britain also prevented the Chinese telecommunications group Huawei from participating in developing its fifth-generation mobile phone network after the United States raised spying concerns by Beijing.
The official Chinese Film, TV and Radio Supervisory Authority said in a statement that BBC World News reports on China constitute a “serious violation” of directives set for the media, including “requirements that the news be honest and fair” and “not cause harm.” National interests of China. ”
The statement added, “The official authority to supervise films, television and radio stations does not allow the (BBC) to continue broadcasting in China, nor does it agree to its new annual request for broadcasting.”
The “BBC” expressed “disappointment” about the step, which applies in the mainland of China, which imposes censorship mainly on the channel and is limited to international hotels.
A spokeswoman for the British network stated that “the BBC + is the international news broadcasting organization with the highest degree of confidence in the world and broadcasts reports from around the world in a fair and neutral manner and without fear or favor.”
In turn, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the decision to prevent the station from broadcasting on the Chinese mainland as a “unacceptable violation of media freedom” by China. “China imposes some of the most stringent restrictions in the world on media and Internet freedoms, and all that this step will do is harm China’s reputation in the world,” he added in a tweet.
Washington condemned the decision to block “BBC World News” in China and called for respect for freedom of the media.
British MP Tom Tugenhadt, who established a “China Research Group” that includes MPs, criticized the move, which he considered “unfortunate but not entirely surprising.”
“This retaliatory step is largely symbolic,” he told AFP. “However, the deteriorating press environment in China is a source of concern for all of us.”
“The (Chinese Communist Party’s) increasingly hostile approach to foreign media while promoting its official platforms around the world is a matter that deserves to be subject to much greater scrutiny,” he added.
Follow the world news from the statement via Google News