Beijing bans BBC World News; UK reacts

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Beijing banned BBC World News from airing in China, one week after threatening to retaliate for the recent revocation of the British broadcasting license for China’s state-owned CGTN, reported Associated Press.

The National Radio and Television Administration said in a statement dated midnight Friday that BBC World News coverage of China had violated requirements that news reporting be true and impartial and undermined China’s national interests and ethnic solidarity.

The Chinese government has criticised recent BBC reports on the COVID-19 pandemic in China and on allegations of forced labor and sexual abuse in the Xinjiang region, home to the Uighurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups.

The BBC already is generally not viewable in China outside of some hotels, businesses, and residential compounds for foreigners. It wasn’t immediately clear if the ban would affect reception in those facilities.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the move “an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom” that would “only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.” Britain’s communications watchdog, Ofcom, revoked the license for CGTN, China’s English-language satellite news channel, on 4 February.

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