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China says BBC World News taken off air for 'serious content violation'

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 In this file photo taken on July 2, 2020 a BBC sign is displayed outside the BBC headquarters in Portland Place, London.
In this file photo taken on July 2, 2020 a BBC sign is displayed outside the BBC headquarters in Portland Place, London.   -   Copyright  Ben STANSALL / AFP
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China’s broadcasting regulator taken BBC World News off air in the country for “serious content violation”, Chinese state media have reported.

The news has been reported by both the state-run agency Xinhua News and the official broadcaster CGTN.

Xinhua said the UK broadcaster's China-related reports contravened "requirements that news reporting must be true and impartial, and undermined China's national interests and ethnic solidarity".

The National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) added that the channel would not be allowed to continue operating within Chinese territory and its broadcasting application would not be accepted for the coming year, the state media said.

The BBC has said it is "disappointed" that its news channel has been banned, AFP reports.

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: "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 & internet freedoms across the globe, & this latest step will only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world," he added.

Last week China's state broadcaster was stripped of its licence to operate in the UK, where it broadcast as China Global Television Network. The UK media regulator judged that it was controlled editorially by the Chinese Communist Party and not the company who held the licence.

Earlier this month the BBC reported detailed accounts claiming that women held in "re-education" camps for the Uighur population had suffered systematic rape, sexual abuse and torture.

It also reported a formal UK legal opinion alleging a "very credible case" that China had committed genocide against the Uighur people.

In January the outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the same accusation of genocide against China over its treatment of the Uighurs.