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UK slammed after media license move

By MO JINGXI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-02-06 08:09

The CCTV headquarters, the home of Chinese state media outlet CCTV and its English-language sister channel CGTN, in Beijing, China on Feb 5, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Ministry spokesman: Decision based on ideological prejudice, political motives

China on Friday urged the United Kingdom to immediately stop political manipulation and correct its mistakes, and expressed firm opposition to London's decision to revoke the license for Chinese State media outlet CGTN.

"China reserves the right to take necessary actions to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese media," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

Britain's media regulator Ofcom on Thursday revoked China Global Television Network's broadcasting license in the UK, after claiming that its State-backed ownership structure broke UK law. The move means that UK broadcast providers must stop offering the channel to British audiences or face fines.

Wang said Ofcom's decision was based on ideological prejudice and political motivation.

"The politicization of technical matters severely damaged the reputation of Chinese media and disturbed the normal people-to-people exchanges between the two countries," he added.

CGTN expressed its disappointment in and strong opposition to Ofcom's final ruling in a statement issued on Friday, saying that as an international media organization with an excellent reputation worldwide for professionalism, it has been committed to promoting communication and understanding between the Chinese and British peoples.

Wang said that China is a socialist country led by the Communist Party of China, and the UK side knew clearly about the ownership of CGTN from the very first day it started airing in the UK 18 years ago.

"Now the British side picks on the issue of CGTN's ownership and obstructs its reporting in the UK, which is completely political manipulation," he said.

While CGTN has been strictly observing British laws and regulations and has reported news based on objectivity, fairness, authenticity and accuracy, Wang pointed out that for a long time, out of ideological prejudice, some British news media outlets have produced so much reporting on China-related issues that goes against facts, with some even being rumors or fake news.

On Thursday, the ministry's information department said in a statement that it lodged stern representations with the BBC's Beijing office over its COVID-19-related news coverage.

According to the statement, the BBC video linked COVID-19 with politics and played the up topics of "covering up" the pandemic and the origin of the virus.

The BBC also aired a video clip of anti-terrorism drills as news coverage of "violent law enforcement and human rights violations" by China's pandemic prevention authorities.

"This is fake news with typical ideological bias, which has resulted in a vile impact," the statement said.

The Chinese side urged the BBC and its Beijing office to take China's stance seriously and take earnest measures to undo the report's vile impact, the statement added.

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