'This appears to be deliberate censorship': China condemned over BBC news website block

The BBC has condemned China after its news site was blocked in the country today.

Although individual pages have been blocked in recent years, the BBC website has been "generally available" in China since the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

BBC director of global news Peter Horrocks said: “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.

“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.”

According to the BBC, the last China "censorship on this scale" was in 2012 during the Chen Guangcheng case, and before that the 2010 coverage of Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

The BBC's Chinese language news site has, according to the corporation, "been blocked all the time save for a few months around the 2008 Games".

The BBC said: "BBC World News TV can only be distributed to hotels and residential compounds catering mainly for foreigners.  It is subject to regular blacking out when covering sensitive news from China – in particular stories relating to Tibet, Xinjiang, democracy activists and human rights abuses."

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