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China blocks broadcast of BBC World News citing "fake news"

China blocks broadcast of BBC World News citing
© BBC
The Chinese government blocks the broadcast of BBC World News in China, claiming that "fake news will not be tolerated".

The Chinese government has announced a ban on the broadcast of the BBC World News channel in mainland China, accusing the corporation of a "serious content violation".

The move comes a week after the Chinese broadcaster CGTN was barred from broadcasting in the UK by TV regulator Ofcom after it was determined that the channel is being operated by the Chinese government.

A statement accused the BBC of broadcasting "fake news" in relation to China's handling of the coronavirus crisis as well as the plight of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, where serious human rights violations are understood to be taking place.

A tweet from the state-owned Global Times said: "China will not allow the broadcast of BBC World News in Chinese mainland after the broadcaster did a slew of falsified reporting on issues including #Xinjiang and China's handling of #COVID19, a move experts said send clear signal that fake news is not tolerated in China."

The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan in late 2019, has devastated economies around the world and claimed millions of lives.

Despite having a population of 1.4 billion, the Chinese government has claimed that fewer than 5,000 of its people have died due to COVID-19, while they have reported having almost no positive cases since February 2020, just as the virus started to spread around the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands - and possibly more than 1 million - people of the Uyghur ethnic group are being held in mass detention, or "re-education", camps in the North-West area of China - and last week, the BBC reported on allegations of "systematic rape" by officials within the camps.

In a statement, the BBC said: "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."

BBC World News is broadcast in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

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