BBC Spreads ‘Fake News’, Says China On Floods Reporting
China has accused the BBC of broadcasting “fake news” about the floods in the country, saying the agency was responsible for covering “naturally unpopular” catastrophic floods in central China.
According to the French news agency AFP, the statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry came at a time when the British news agency BBC reported that harassment of journalists by nationalists should be stopped. Where nationalist elements have been accusing foreign media of biased reporting.
At least 99 people have been killed in flash floods triggered by heavy rains in China’s central province of Henan, according to AFP.
According to the British News Agency, their journalists were harassed online during the coverage of the floods, while journalists from other organizations have complained about the attacks, which have endangered foreign journalists in China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao called the BBC a “fake news broadcasting company” and said the BBC had tried to attack China by “disturbing the quality of journalism”. The BBC deserves the same attitude that is unpopular with the Chinese people and is not a matter of unwarranted hatred.
On Tuesday, the youth wing of China’s ruling Communist Party, which has 1.6 million followers, posted online comments to monitor the movements of BBC reporters, sparking a war of words. BBC correspondents received death threats in comments made by nationalists from the Henan Communist Youth League.
Last week, the Chinese city of Zhengzhou recorded the heaviest rainfall of the year in three days, killing at least 14 people and flooding the city’s subway system, trapping more than 500 passengers, according to AFP.
City and provincial officials faced demands for accountability, while the wife of one of the victims said she would sue the subway metro administration for negligence. But despite calls for transparency, foreign journalists face increasingly biased attitudes in China, as sensitivity to China’s negative image is now at an all-time high.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that foreign representatives enjoy an environment of independent reporting in China.
Contrary to his claims, however, independent media groups say it is becoming increasingly difficult for foreign reporters to work where journalists are chased in the streets, harassed online and denied visas.
Earlier, the BBC has called for immediate action by the Chinese government to stop ‘the attacks on journalists’ following reporting on the floods in Henan Province.
The BBC calls for immediate action by the Chinese government to stop the attacks on journalists following reporting on the floods in Henan Province. pic.twitter.com/gQsRM0svKR
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) July 27, 2021
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