A week after UK regulators had banned Chinese state broadcaster CGTN, the Chinese government has retaliated by banning the British media outlet – British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
According to the reports, on Thursday, the Chinese media regulator – National Radio and Television Administration in a statement said that they would ban BBC World News. It said that BBC’s coverage on China had violated guidelines of ‘true and impartial’ reporting that undermined China’s national interests and ethnic solidarity.
Earlier, Chinese officials had threatened to ban British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after the British regulators had revoked the licence of Chinese state broadcaster CGTN saying that China’s ruling Communist Party has ultimate editorial responsibility for the channel. In retaliation, the Chinese authorities have now banned the left-wing media outlet BBC. It is important to note that even BBC has a controversial history of putting unverified facts.
“The channel fails to meet the requirements to broadcast in China as an overseas channel,” the Radio and Television Administration said, stating that it would not accept BBC’s broadcast application for the following year.
BBC World News seriously violated regulations on radio and television management in its China-related reports, said NRTA in its statement.
It is unclear how the ban against BBC would affect as the network is not allowed to broadcast in mainland China or into Chinese homes. In China, the BBC is available in some hotels, businesses and residential compounds for foreigners.
Reacting to Chinese ban, the BBC said it was “disappointed”. Meanwhile, the United States, along with the UK, has condemned China’s decision to ban the BBC in that country.
Media wars between China and Britain
The latest ban on BBC comes just a week China and Britain had exchanged barbs over an escalating media war. The Chinese government had criticized recent BBC reports on the COVID-19 pandemic in China, allegations of forced labour and sexual abuse of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
The escalations had started after Britain’s Office of Communications (Ofcom) revoked the license of the CGTN saying that it was just extended arm of the Chinese government.
However, angered by British regulators’ response, China’s foreign ministry had issued a statement accusing the British Broadcasting Corporation of pushing “fake news” on China over Covid-19 outbreak. The Chinese foreign ministry also demanded an apology claiming that the broadcaster had politicised the pandemic and “rehashed theories about covering up by China”.
Not just Chinese political establishment, even CPC’s mouthpiece threatened British authorities and media for reporting facts about the Wuhan virus and the atrocities carried out by the Chinese government against the minority Uyghur Muslims in Xinjian province.