BBC reacts angrily as China blocks its website

“The BBC strongly condemns any attempts to restrict free access to news and information and we are protesting to the Chinese authorities. This appears to be deliberate censorship”

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The BBC has “strongly condemned” the Chinese government for blocking its website and has demanded an explanation.

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As tensions rise in Hong Kong between pro-democracy protesters and police, the BBC says that the move on Wednesday 15th October seems to have been “deliberate censorship”, although it did not specify what it believed prompted it. The site remained blocked in China on Thursday according to news agencies in the country.

“The BBC strongly condemns any attempts to restrict free access to news and information and we are protesting to the Chinese authorities. This appears to be deliberate censorship,” said Peter Horrocks, director of the BBC World Service Group.

“The BBC provides impartial, trusted news to millions of people around the world, and attempts to censor our news services show just how important it is to get our accurate information to them.”

The BBC appeared careful not to say what may have prompted the move by the Beijing government but it is not the first time the Corporation’s website has been blocked in China.

In 2010, it could not be accessed for several days around the time of the ceremony awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

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The New York Times, newswire Bloomberg and the BBC’s Chinese-language website are also regularly blocked in China.