BEIJING (Reuters) – China barred Britain’s BBC World Information from its tv networks on Friday and Hong Kong’s public broadcaster mentioned it will cease relaying BBC World Service radio, every week after Britain revoked Chinese language state tv’s broadcast licence.
China’s Nationwide Radio and Tv Administration mentioned BBC World Information’ stories on China had “severely violated” a requirement to be “truthful and honest”, harmed China’s pursuits and undermined nationwide unity.
Radio Tv Hong Kong (RTHK), the publicly funded broadcaster within the former British territory, mentioned it was suspending the relay of BBC radio information programming.
The International Correspondents’ Membership of China (FCCC) mentioned it appeared that China was making an attempt to pressure overseas media to observe the Chinese language get together line.
RTHK’s Radio 4 (R4) station had carried BBC World Service radio for eight hours every night time and the R1 station had carried a one-hour BBC programme as soon as every week.
The personal Hong Kong platforms Cable TV and Now TV had been nonetheless carrying BBC World Information as of Friday.
Earlier than the ban, BBC World Information had not been included in most TV packages in mainland China, however had been accessible in some resorts and houses.
Two Reuters journalists in Beijing discovered that the channel had disappeared.
The BBC, which is a public company, mentioned it was “the world’s most trusted worldwide information broadcaster and stories on tales from world wide pretty, impartially and with out worry or favour”.
British overseas minister Dominic Raab known as the ban “an unacceptable curbing of media freedom”, including:
“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 fame within the eyes of the world.”
RTHK’s resolution underlines how Beijing’s tightening grip on Hong Kong extends to media.
Final yr, when Beijing expelled a few dozen journalists working for U.S. information shops, it additionally barred them from relocating to Hong Kong.
RTHK, based in 1928 and typically in contrast with the BBC, is the one impartial, publicly funded media outlet on Chinese language soil and is assured editorial independence by its constitution.
It had angered each the Hong Kong authorities and Beijing with its protection of anti-government protests that shook town in 2019.
U.S. State Division spokesman Ned Worth instructed a daily briefing on Thursday that it was “troubling that as (China) restricts shops and platforms from working freely in China, Beijing’s leaders use free and open media environments abroad to advertise misinformation”.
This month, the State Division mentioned it was “deeply disturbed” by a BBC report of systematic rape and sexual abuse towards ladies in internment camps for ethnic Uighurs and different Muslims in China’s Xinjiang area.
China denies accusations of abuses in Xinjiang and mentioned the report was “wholly with out factual foundation”.
The FCCC famous the reasons for the ban, particularly the accusations of harming nationwide pursuits and undermining nationwide unity.
“The FCCC is anxious that such language is meant to ship a warning to overseas media working in China that they could face sanctions if their reporting doesn’t observe the Chinese language get together line about Xinjiang and different ethnic minority areas,” it mentioned in a press release.
On Feb. 4, the British media regulator Ofcom revoked China World Tv Community’s (CGTN) licence after an investigation discovered the licence was wrongfully held by Star China Media Ltd.
China mentioned the ruling was political reserved the precise to make a “vital response”.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Tom Daly; further reporting by Man Faulconbridge and William James in London, Tony Munroe in Beijing, David Brunnstrom in Washington, and Scott Murdoch in Hong Kong; Enhancing by Catherine Evans, Toby Chopra and Lincoln Feast.)
Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.