Raab condemns China’s ‘unacceptable’ ban on BBC World News

Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

The Foreign Secretary has branded China’s decision to ban BBC World News an “unacceptable curtailing of media freedom”.

Dominic Raab said the move will damage Beijing’s reputation in the eyes of the world.

China last week threatened to retaliate after UK regulator Ofcom stripped state TV channel China Global Television Network of its UK broadcasting licence.

The decision was based on technical issues but rooted in complaints about CGTN’s role in persecuting critics of the ruling Communist Party.

It was thought that the BBC, which is only available in some hotels, businesses and residential compounds for foreigners in China, could become a target.

Beijing has previously criticised the BBC’s reporting on coronavirus in the country, as well as allegations of human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang.

Mr Raab said in a statement: “China’s decision to ban BBC World News in mainland China is an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom.

“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.”

The BBC said in a statement: “We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. The BBC is the world’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour.”

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