Beijing calls on Britons to ‘distinguish right from wrong’, claiming media has distorted UK public’s view of China

China has called on the British people to “make independent judgements based on facts,” as a poll shows Brits are suspicious of China after London and Beijing engaged in a tit-for-tat ban on each other’s media organizations.

Speaking on Friday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying took aim at Britain’s media when questioned about a recent poll by the non-profit British Foreign Policy Group, which highlighted Britons’ distaste for Beijing.

“China hopes that foreign people, including the British people, can keep their eyes open and distinguish right from wrong, as well as make independent judgments based on facts,” Hua stated.

Hua blasted media organizations she said had “concocted and spread too many rumors, lies and false information on China-related issues,” noting that such practices are not conducive to a “correct understanding” of the Chinese and British peoples.

The spokeswoman took the opportunity to remind journalists of the “importance of true and objective reporting,” and said the media should play an “active and constructive role” in improving cultural understanding between the two nations.

The poll in question revealed that Britons are highly suspicious of the Chinese state, showing that 41 percent of the respondents regarded China as a “critical threat,” and only 22 percent of participants were happy to see any economic agreement between Britain and China. 

Also on BBC World News banned from broadcasting in China, as London-Beijing media war heats up

In early February, the two powers exchanged blows, when as London banned China’s CGTN network from broadcasting in the UK and Beijing took reciprocal action, banning BBC World News from airing in China, despite the BBC not actually having been widely available to the Chinese. 

The UK’s Ofcom watchdog pulled CGTN’s license after an investigation showed the broadcaster was “controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and therefore disqualified from holding a broadcast licence under UK laws”.

Meanwhile, Beijing claimed the license-fee-funded BBC “violated the requirements that news should be truthful and fair, harmed China’s national interests, and undermined China’s national unity.”

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