China bans BBC World News from broadcasting

China has banned BBC World News from broadcasting in the country, its television and radio regulator announced on Thursday.

China has criticised the BBC for its reporting on coronavirus and the persecution of ethnic minority Uighurs.

The BBC said it was “disappointed” by the decision.

It follows British media regulator Ofcom revoking state broadcaster China Global Television Network’s (CGTN) licence to broadcast in the UK.

The UK foreign secretary calls move ‘an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom.’

The decision was a result of a “slew of falsified reporting” on issues including the Xinjiang region and China’s handling of the coronavirus, state media Global Times said, adding that “fake news” is not tolerated in China.

BBC News released a statement on Twitter

The BBC’s series of reporting about Xinjiang internment camps, forced labor and, most recently, systematic rape of Muslim women have infuriated Beijing authorities.

Dominic Raab also took to Twitter and released a statement saying:

‘China’s decision to ban BBC World News in mainland China is an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom. China has some of the most severe restrictions on media & internet freedoms across the globe, & this latest step will only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.’

Relations between China and the UK have seen a serious deterioration in recent months over Hong Kong, where Beijing introduced a controversial new security law after a large pro-democracy movement swept the ex-colony.

In February the BBC published a report featuring interviews with Uighur women who said they had been systematically raped, sexually abused and tortured in China’s “re-education” camps in Xinjiang. China’s foreign ministry accused the BBC of making a “false report”.

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