BBC row with China blows up as reporter hits back at accusations of 'truth crisis bias'


The corporation’s China correspondent John Sudworth accused the ruling Chinese Communist Party of keeping citizens in the dark by cutting off almost all access to BBC news reports. The China Daily, a newspaper owned by the Communist Party, posted a scathing video online in which two of its reporters discussed the row which erupted last week.

BBC reporter Robin Brant’s despatch from Henan province caused upset he claimed people were dying on a flooded subway platform.

The China Daily reporters hit out at the report and said there had been “biased reporting from the BBC” during the historic floods.

But Mr Sudworth hit back, saying: “The BBC is completely banned in China.

“The only ‘trust crisis’ is a manufactured one, pushed by the cod journalists of a one party state, using Western social media platforms to which they have total, unfettered access.

“China’s ban on the BBC has been so successful, complete and long-running (it recently cut the last tiny inlet, the sat feed in a few international hotels) that today very few Chinese people see any BBC coverage at all.

“Wasn’t always that way though.”

In the video, one China Daily reporter said there had been a “huge backlash” against the BBC after the report on the Henan floods aired.

Her fellow reporter added: “The BBC should take the responsibility and apologise for their disconcerting reports.

READ MORE: BBC accused of ‘overselling’ its coverage as viewers struggle to watch

The row comes after a group of foreign journalists were accosted in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan, while reporting on the floods.

BBC reporters were not among the pack but reports suggest the locals had been targeting the Beeb.

The broadcaster issued a stern statement condemning the “attacks” on journalists.

And it claimed its staff had been sent death threats after a faction of the ruling Chinese Communist Party urged citizens to post on social media the whereabouts of the BBC reporters sent to cover the floods.

It said the group of angry people had clearly been “looking for the BBC team”.

Mr Sudworth has left China for Taiwan after being subjected to pressure and threats from Chinese authorities.

He had previously won an award for his reporting on the mistreatment of the Uyghur people.

He left the country with his family after living there for nine years.

As the family dashed to the airport, he claimed plainclothes police officers had followed him to the airport and into the check-in area.



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