View Full Version : China blacks out BBC News About Uighurs

Ay Yultuz Kok Byrak
11-03-05, 03:57
The British Broadcasting Corp.'s "China Week" didn't sit well with Chinese censors.

Transmissions of the BBC World channel's weeklong series of China-themed programs to hotels and apartment compounds for foreigners were repeatedly blocked Friday during reports on politics and other sensitive issues.

A story about the restive Muslim Uighur ethnic group in China's far west was cut off after just seconds. The screen went black after a BBC correspondent said, "But the Uighur people have little affection for their Chinese masters."

China allows transmissions of foreign channels such as BBC World _ the BBC's international television channel _ and other foreign channels to hotels and apartment compounds for foreigners. But the broadcasts are closely monitored, and reports on politics, religion and other sensitive issues are routinely blacked out.

BBC World and other foreign channels are not licensed for cable distribution to ordinary Chinese, but millions of households with unlicensed satellite dishes can view them.

The Uighur issue is especially touchy, as some members of the minority group are waging a low-intensity struggled against Chinese control. China claims the violence is linked to the al-Qaida terrorism network, though outside experts are skeptical
The BBC's Web site describes China Week as "a themed series of news reports and programs exploring one of the world's most dynamic countries."

The March 7-13 programs also are carried on BBC World Service radio.

They feature more than 60 journalists reporting from cities and rural areas throughout China. Interview subjects range from China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, to Hollywood martial arts star Jet Li.

The programs include an edition of the audience participation show "Question Time," which is recorded in Shanghai and features a panel of Chinese officials and government critics.