OPINION / OBSERVER
BBC ban a sharp measure to defend country from false spin
Published: Feb 18, 2021 03:48 PM

BBC Beijing Bureau Photo: VCG

After the BBC repeatedly concocted fake news against China - an act that threatens China's national interests - China recently decided to bar BBC World News from airing inside the country. The move has drawn criticism from some Western countries including the UK and the US. They accused China of suppressing foreign media outlets and "the freedom" of the press. Do their accusations hold water? Before leveling accusations against China, they'd better have a good look at what the BBC has done against China.

It's fair to say the BBC has degraded into a rumor mill when it comes to its reporting on China. It has played an extremely disgraceful role in slandering China with a string of false reports. Its reports about Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the anti-epidemic efforts China has made are full of bottomless smears, lies, and tall tales.

Responding to China's ban, the BBC said in a statement that it is "the world's most trusted international news broadcaster" and it "reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour." Really? Then why did it release a sensational, falsified report alleging that large numbers of Uygur women have been "systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured" in the vocational education and training centers in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, without verifying the facts? How could a "trusted" broadcaster air a video clip of an anti-terrorism drill as "proof" to claim that the Chinese epidemic control authorities are violently enforcing the law and violating human rights? In a video depicting the COVID-19 outbreak recovery of Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, the BBC added a grayish filter in its English edition to make China look worse. Is this what a media outlet that is supposed to report "fairly, impartially and without fear or favour" should do?  

In fact, the BBC has long lost its "trusted" reputation. The British broadcaster is now no different from an anti-China rumor mill. China has every reason to teach the BBC a lesson. 

The BBC has created fake news to discredit China, then how can the UK, the US and other Western countries demand that China tolerate an anti-China media outlet slandering China with false reports? What would these Western countries do if a Chinese news broadcaster concocted rumors and fabricated lies about them? They definitely won't sit idly and indulge the fake news crusade against them without fighting back.      

Banning BBC World News is an appropriate punishment. It came one week after Ofcom, the UK's media regulator, withdrew the license for Chinese broadcaster CGTN. Ridiculously, the UK revoked the license of Chinese news network with an absurd excuse that the network's state-backed ownership structure violates British law, but it condemned China's decision to safeguard legitimate interests by cracking down on fake news and barring BBC World News. This has laid bare the UK and other Western countries' double standards and hypocrisy of press freedom. 

BBC is keen on cooking up stories about China. This not only violates journalism ethics, but also exposes the media outlet's profound ideological prejudices against China. Some Westerners claim they champion freedom of the press. But people can easily tell that the so-called press freedom is nothing more than an excuse and shield for Western countries and Western media to politically suppress and throw mud at other countries, especially their ideological rivals. 

Western media should stop their public opinion crusade against China and cease concocting fake news that serves their ideological prejudice. China's ban on BBC World News should be taken as a wake-up call. China won't remain passive in face of smears. China isn't asking Western media to say good words about the country, but at least these Western media outlets should uphold objectivity and report the truth. In this sense, banning BBC World News not only is a way to safeguard China's national interests, but also defends the law of reporting.   

Banning BBC World News from airing in China is reasonable and the British media outlet deserves it. It must be pointed out that it's only one of the countermeasures China can take. If the BBC and other Western media outlets continue to go further on their way to discredit China, they will be met with more determined punitive measures from China. 


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