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U.K. Pulls Chinese State TV Channel Off the Air

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Britain’s media regulator Comcom pulled CGTN’s broadcasting license after questions were raised over editorial independence and links to the CCP.

The U.K. media regulator has removed the Chinese state-backed television channel CGTN of its broadcasting license, a move that is certain to increase state-level tensions with Beijing.

British communications watchdog Tucom said it revoked the license because its editorial independence and links to the Chinese Communist Party were questioned after an investigation by the Chinese channel.

The China Global Television Network, or CGTN, as it is known, is an international English-language news channel. This UK Was available for free and on pay TV.

“After careful consideration, taking into account all the facts and the rights of the broadcaster and audience for freedom of expression, we have decided that it is appropriate to revoke the license for CGTN for broadcast in the U.N.” . ”

British regulators launched an investigation into the channel in response to a complaint by the human rights group Safeguard Defenders.

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The U.K. The watchdog said that Star China Media Ltd, the entity holding the broadcasting license of CGTN, did not get editorial control over the channel’s reporting. As part of a planned restructuring, CGTN was asked to transfer its license to a company called China Global Television Network Corporation, but Com said that “critical information” was missing from the Chinese channel’s application.

COCOM said the request was also rejected because “it is controlled by a body that is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party,” a violation of local laws.

The U.K. Requires ComCom to prevent organizations whose goals are primarily political from holding television broadcasting licenses. The watchdog said it gave CGTN a “significant time” to follow local regulations but those efforts “have now ended.”

Ofcom is investigating various other complaints against CGTN including violation of rules on fairness and accuracy. One case involved British corporate investigator Peter Humphrey, who alleged that he was forced to confess while imprisoned in China and that CGTN winds up his forced confession in violation of his rights.

In another case, a former British consulate employee in Hong Kong said that the channel aired his forced confession after being detained and tortured by the Chinese police for information on pro-democracy protesters.

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Last year, Tomge found that CGTN violated fairness rules in its coverage of Hong Kong protests. The regulator said it is considering sanctions against CGTN on two new cases, which may include sanctions. Although the Chinese channel has already taken away its license, a decision is still pending in those cases.

Although the U.K. It was keen to increase trade relations with China, but diplomatic relations with Beijing have been horrifying since last year. Britain’s decision to ban Huawei Technologies from its 5G wireless network over security concerns increased tensions and led to the UK’s early functioning of China’s coronavirus. The investigation only took away the tension.

The U.K. Has also offered Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which gives residents of the former colony a path to become British citizens.

Shortly before Comcom’s decision on Thursday, China’s foreign ministry complained to the BBC about airing a story to deal with the outbreak of China’s novel coronavirus virus. The ministry called the piece of news “specific fake news” and demanded an apology saying “China reserves the right to take further measures.” The BBC dismissed it as “baseless allegations of fake news or ideological bias”.

Many China watchers expect Beijing to retaliate against Comcom’s CGTN decision, possibly targeting the BBC’s operations in China.

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