BBC Website Blocked By Chinese Government

BBC Website Blocked By Chinese Government

Peter Horrocks, director of the BBC World Service Group, stated that “the BBC strongly condemns any attempts to restrict free access to news and information and we are protesting to the Chinese authorities. This appears to be deliberate censorship.”

BBC blocked in China: The controversy

Reuters has claimed that the Chinese Communist Party censors blocked the BBC’s English-language website on Wednesday, and it remained inaccessible as of Thursday morning.

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The official response of the Chinese government came from Hong Lei, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry. When questioned as to whether the BBC website had indeed been blocked, he told Reuters that the country enjoyed “full Internet freedom.”

“At the same time, the Chinese government manages the Internet in accordance with the law,” he added.

Room for maneuver

The vague allusion to the “law” affords China significant wiggle room on this issue. Just a few days ago, one Chinese official claimed that foreign media coverage of the Hong Kong protests had not been objective, and reiterated the need for foreign media coverage to remain impartial.

“We hope the outside world will respect … the Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region] government to deal with the situation in accordance with the law and does not send any wrong signal to this unlawful activity,” said the official.

His statement may have come as a response to BBC reports of an investigation into allegations that police were using excessive force against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The story featured video footage of a protester being beaten by a group of officers, as well as highlighting the use of pepper spray and batons by authorities.

The BBC has previously found itself in hot water with the Chinese authorities. The English-language site was “disrupted” around the same time that Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng escaped from house arrest, and was also blocked when Liu Xiaobo received his Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

Updated on

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at [email protected]</i>
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