The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has threatened to retaliate against the United Kingdom after Britain’s broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, revoked the network licence for the state-owned propaganda outlet China Global Television Network (CGTN).
Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin accused the UK on Friday of “political oppression, double standards and hypocrisy” following the Thursday decision from Ofcom.
Mr Wang went on to warn, according to The Telegraph, that the CCP “reserves the right to take action in response,” despite Ofcom operating as an independent body from the government — a foreign concept in the Chinese state, in which all media are under the strict control of the central government.
The Chinese embassy in the UK wrote on social media that “Ofcom’s oppression of CGTN” was political in nature, going on to claim that the move “seriously damages Chinese media’s reputation and interferes with normal people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries,” adding: “China is firmly opposed to it.”
Announcing the ban on CGTN on Thursday, Ofcom said that the network is “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party” and is therefore in violation of the UK’s broadcasting law.
The decision was questioned by the foreign ministry spokesman, who said: “China is a socialist country led by the Communist Party, and the British side has always clearly known the attributes of the Chinese media from the first day CTN arrived and began broadcasting in the UK 18 years ago.”
In a statement released on Friday, CGTN claimed that the Ofcom investigation came as a result of the broadcast regulator being “manipulated by extreme right-wing organizations and anti-China forces.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 28, 2020
A former British diplomat in China, Charles Parton, warned that the CCP will take “revenge” by blocking the BBC, writing that the “likelihood is that the BBC’s operation in China will be shuttered.”
The BBC, he said, will bear the brunt of the backlash “not least because of its horrifying report from eye-witnesses of organised rape and torture in the concentration camps in Xinjiang.”
In China, the BBC World Service is one of the few Western media outlets which are permitted by authorities in Beijing to air. However, the service often sees its feed cut during reports critical of the communist regime.
The former British diplomat went on to predict that CGTN will likely shift its main European operations to Brussels, which he noted has already seen its outfit “beefed up, probably in expectation of the Ofcom verdict.”
CGTN is also active — like most CCP outlets — on Western social media, despite access to the services being blocked for citizens in China.
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The founder and chairman of the UK-based think tank, Hong Kong Watch, Benedict Rogers hailed the move by Ofcom to block the CCP propaganda outlet, saying that it was “about time”.
“Broadcasters who are accomplices to torture shouldn’t be given airtime in [the] UK. Indeed, they should be illegal,” Rogers said, in reference to alleged forced confessions aired on the network.
Following Ofcom’s ruling in May of last year, that CGTN had violated impartiality broadcast rules during its coverage of the pro-democracy Hong Kong protests, Mr Rogers told Breitbart London: “I hope Ofcom will also rule soon on the cases filed by Peter Humphrey, Peter Dahlin, Angela Gui, and Simon Cheng, alleging CCTV [China Central Television] and CGTN complicity with torture.”
Tensions between the United Kingdom and China have been steadily increasing over the past year, in the wake of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to block all Huawei tech from the country’s 5G networks by 2027.
Relations further soured over the UK’s decision to open a visa scheme to millions of Hong Kongers, fleeing from the communist regime’s vicious crackdown on the pro-freedom movement in the former British colony.
In response, the Beijing dictatorship announced that it will stop recognising British National (Overseas) passports in Hong Kong, in an attempt to block people from escaping the territory.
UK Will ‘Pay a Price’ over Huawei Decision, Threatens Chinese Communist Party Paper https://t.co/2zqnyqRX2P
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 26, 2020
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