China’s National Radio and Television Administration has announced that British television channel, BBC World News has been barred from airing in China, a week after the United Kingdom’s media regulator, Ofcom, revoked Chinese state-owned broadcaster China Global Television Network’s (CGTN).
In a statement, the administration said an investigation found BBC World News’ China-related reports had “seriously violated” regulations, including that news should be “truthful and fair,” harming China’s national interests and undermining national unity.
“The channel, therefore, does not meet requirements for foreign channels broadcasting in China and its application to air for another year will not be accepted.”National Radio and Television Administration (China)
English-language BBC World News is not included in most TV channel packages in China but is available in some hotels and residences. In a statement, a BBC spokeswoman said, “We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action.
“The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour.”
Earlier this month, China criticized the BBC after it aired a report on February 3 detailing traumatic accounts of alleged torture and sexual violence against Uighur women in Chinese camps.
In a lengthy investigation based on witness testimonies, the BBC had reported allegations of systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture of women detainees by police and guards in China’s western region of Xinjiang. The report described torture by electric shock, including anal rape by guards using electrified sticks. Women were subject to gang rape and forced sterilisation, witnesses said. According to estimates, more than a million Uighurs and other minorities have been detained in camps in China.
China has denied that Uighurs are persecuted. Last year China’s UK ambassador Liu Xiaoming told the BBC that reports of concentration camps were “fake” and the Uighurs received the same treatment under the law as other ethnic groups in his country.
Meanwhile, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has said the move by China was “unacceptable” and damaged China’s global standing.
“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.”Dominic Raab
The US State Department also condemned the decision, calling it “troubling”.
“We absolutely condemn the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) decision to ban BBC World News, the PRC maintains one of the most controlled most impressive least free information spaces in the world. It’s troubling that as the PRC restricts outlets and platforms from operating freely in China Beijing’s leaders, use free and open media environments overseas to promote misinformation.
“We call on the PRC and other nations with authoritarian controls over their population to allow their full access to the internet and media.”State Department spokesman, Ned Price