BEIJING (CHINA) – China barred Britain’s BBC World News on Friday and Hong Kong’s public broadcaster said it would stop relaying BBC World Service radio. The move comes a week after Britain revoked Chinese state television’s broadcast licence.
China’s National Radio and Television Administration said BBC World News had “seriously violated” a requirement to be “truthful and fair”, harmed China’s interests and undermined national unity.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) said it appeared that China was trying to force foreign media to follow the Chinese party line.
Radio Television Hong Kong’s Radio 4 (R4) station had carried BBC World Service radio for eight hours each night and the R1 station had carried a one-hour BBC programme once a week.
Before the ban, BBC World News had not been included in most TV packages in mainland China, but had been available in some hotels and homes.
British foreign minister Dominic Raab called the ban “an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom”, adding:
“China has some of the most severe restrictions on media and internet freedoms across the globe, and this latest step will only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.”