Beijing Bans BBC Broadcasts

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February 11, 2021

The Chinese government banned the BBC from broadcasting on the Chinese mainland after the media outlet published stories about human rights abuses in China. 

China's National Radio and Television Administration said it rejected BBC's broadcasting license for the next year due to "serious content violation" that "undermined China's national interests and ethnic solidarity," according to China Global Television Network (CGTN), an official regime mouthpiece. CGTN accused the British broadcaster of spreading "disinformation and explicit propaganda" about China's treatment of Uighur Muslims, the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and other hot button issues. 

"BBC's only mission has turned to wage information war on China," CGTN said. "When attacked, China defends itself. A news organization shouldn't operate on a hard-line political agenda. An agency that does has no place, no right, no integrity to continue reporting in China."

The BBC most recently published a bombshell report on the systematic rape of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang camps, provoking the Chinese government into demanding an apology. It remains unclear whether the broadcasting ban will place restrictions on BBC journalists' ability to conduct reporting in China. 

The Chinese government has frequently imposed sanctions on Western journalists who publish unflattering stories about China. When the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed critical of China's pandemic response in early 2020, Beijing responded by expelling three reporters working for the Journal.

Published under: BBC , China , Uighurs