The British government today fined China Global Television Network (CGTN) $274,000 for “bias and unfair treatment of interviewees”, adding to tensions between the two countries.
Britain’s media regulator Ofcom has investigated two complaints against public company Star China Media, which has a CGTN license, claiming that those affected were treated “unfairly and biasedly”, according to Agence France-Presse.
“Among other things, CGTN did not obtain consent to conduct the interviews,” Ofcom explained in a statement, accusing the signal of disrespecting the privacy of these people.
“In addition, events that cast doubt on the credibility of their alleged confessions were excluded from the programmes,” he added.
For these events that took place on programs broadcast by CGTN between 2016 and 2019, the Chinese network received two fines of 100,000 pounds each, or 274,000 dollars.
The statement concluded, “Given the seriousness of these violations, we have imposed two fines of 100,000 pounds each.”
In July, the regulator had already selected CGTN for the treatment intended for a British fast-paced journalist, journalist Peter Humphrey, while covering his detention in China.
In May, CGTN was accused of bias in its coverage of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in 2019.
In February, Ofcom withdrew CGTN’s license to broadcast in the UK, citing the Chinese Communist Party’s control of its programming.
This is taking place in the context of the growing diplomatic tension between London and Beijing over the curtailment of democratic freedoms in the former British colony of Hong Kong which was guaranteed – defended by the UK – on the terms of its return to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
Similarly, the government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2020 banned the use of the communications equipment of the Chinese giant Huawei in the development of the 5G mobile phone network amid accusations of control by the Asian giant’s regime. (Tillam)
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