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EU urges China to review BBC ban

EU urges China to review BBC ban
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The European Union on Saturday urged China to review its ban of BBC World News television, which was initially imposed in response to a U.K. media regulator removing a license for a Chinese state media outlet.

The EU said in a statement reported by The Associated Press that China's move violated the country's constitution as well as further restricted “freedom of expression and access to information inside its borders."

“The EU remains strongly committed to safeguarding media freedom and pluralism, as well as protecting the right to freedom of expression online and offline, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information without interference of any kind,” the statement said, according to the AP.

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Though Britain is no longer part of the EU, it remains part of the Council of Europe, which maintains an agreement linking broadcasting licenses that was established in 1989.

China’s National Radio and Television Administration argued that BBC's coverage of the country did not reflect reporting that was true or impartial, though many countries including the U.S., Britain, and foreign correspondents have expressed issues with China's ban.

The ban largely referred to BBC's reporting on the coronavirus in China as well as allegations of forced labor and sexual abuse in China's northwestern region. It is unclear how the ban will affect BBC reporters, the news outlet noted.

Britain's initial removal of a license for Chinese broadcaster CGTN dealt a blow to China, which created the network to challenge Western views about the country, the AP reported.