Beijing, Feb 12 (efe-epa).- Chinese authorities blocked national broadcasts of British channel BBC World News for over claims it is not impartial and truthful, the National Administration of Radio and Television said in a Friday statement on its website.
It said the network violated the regulations in force concerning broadcasts about China and “violated the requirements that news must be truthful and impartial.”
The institution also accused the BBC of “damaging China’s national interests and undermining the national unity” of the country.
The National Radio and Television Administration said the network “does not comply with the broadcasting conditions of foreign channels in China,” and said its requests to go on-air for next year would not be accepted.
The United Kingdom was quick to protest with a statement signed by British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab, who called the decision “unacceptable.”
Raab denounced the ban as “an unacceptable restriction on media freedom” that will damage “China’s reputation in the eyes of the world.”
In recent weeks, the Chinese state press has led a campaign against the BBC – and even its journalists have been subject to insults and harassment on social media – as a result of reports that denounce serious human rights violations of religious minorities in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Beijing denies the accusations about what is happening in Xinjiang, a region in northwestern China where the foreign press faces additional restrictions when it comes to reporting.
The Chinese authorities’ decision comes a week after British media regulator Ofcom announced it would withdraw its license to broadcast in the United Kingdom from state-owned China Global Television Network (CGTN).
According to Ofcom, CGTN’s licensee “does not meet the legal requirement to have control over the service,” a function that the regulator maintains is in the hands of an entity ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. EFE-EPA