China takes aim again at BBC as dispute with Britain intensifies
- 05 February 2021
The BBC came under renewed fire from Chinese officials on Friday in a diplomatic dispute a day after Britain’s media regulator revoked the TV licence of Chinese state media outlet CGTN, APA reports citing Reuters.
Britain and China have exchanged barbs for months over China’s crackdown on dissent in the former British colony of Hong Kong, concern over the security of Huawei technology, and the treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.
On Thursday, Britain’s Ofcom revoked the licence of CGTN, the English-language sister channel of state broadcaster CCTV, after concluding that China’s ruling Communist Party had ultimate editorial responsibility for the channel.
Minutes later, China’s foreign ministry accused the British Broadcasting Corp of pushing “fake news” in its COVID-19 reporting, demanding an apology and saying that the broadcaster had politicized the pandemic and “rehashed theories about covering up by China”.
The BBC said its reporting is fair and unbiased.
On Friday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin criticised the Ofcom ruling as “politicising the issue on a technical point” and warned that China reserves the right to make a “necessary response”.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper separately reported on Thursday that Britain had in the past year expelled three Chinese spies who were there on journalism visas.