China's foreign ministry took a victory lap after the BBC moved its correspondent out of the country, claiming he was 'smearing' them

China's foreign ministry took a victory lap after the BBC moved its correspondent out of the country, claiming he was 'smearing' them

April 1, 2021
  • China said the BBC correspondent who left the country wrote “fake news with ideological prejudice.”
  • John Sudworth had examined the origins of COVID-19 and China’s treatment of Uyghurs.
  • The BBC said Sudworth’s work “exposed truths” that China “did not want the world to know.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

China took a victory lap after the BBC moved its correspondent out of the country, claiming he was “smearing” it.

The BBC on Wednesday said it had relocated China correspondent John Sudworth to Taiwan, saying that his work “has exposed truths that Chinese authorities did not want the world to know.”

While in China, Sudworth reported topics including on the origins of the novel coronavirus and Beijing’s treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority — which the country has long tried to clamp down on.

In a Thursday press conference, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “Without John Sudworth’s smearing, the world will know more about China objectively,” according to the state-run CGTN news network.

The BBC did not give a specific reason for moving Sudworth, but the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said on Wednesday that he left “amid concerns for his safety and that of his family” and that he left “after months of personal attacks and disinformation targeting him and his BBC colleagues, disseminated by both Chinese state media and Chinese government officials.”

In a Wednesday press conference, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Sudworth did not give a reason for his departure, and that Chinese authorities “do not know why he left the country.”

She also accused the BBC of producing “a large number of fake news with ideological prejudice,” including on Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the novel coronavirus, and claimed that its reporting has been “strongly opposed by the Chinese people.”

The Chinese government had launched attacks on both Sudworth and the BBC over coverage of the Uyghurs. China has detained at least a million Uyghurs in prisons and other facilities, and calls them “re-education camps” despite widespread reports of forced labor and human-rights abuses.

Sudworth also reported on China’s use of Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups for manual labor in cotton fields — a practice China denies doing. 

In February, China barred BBC World News from broadcasting in the country, accusing the broadcaster of reporting “fake” news days after it published an investigation into the treatment of Uyghurs.

Source: Read Full Article