|A rescue worker can be seen walking for hours in Yangzhou after flooding in China. Photo: AFP|
China has accused the BBC of broadcasting “fake news” about floods in China, saying it was “extremely unpopular” in covering the catastrophic floods in central China.
According to the AFP news agency, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement came after the BBC reported that harassment of journalists by nationalists should be stopped, where these nationalist elements are foreign media. And accusing the media of biased reporting.
Floods caused by heavy rains in central Henan province last week have killed at least 99 people.
The BBC reported that journalists were harassed online during the flood coverage, while journalists from other organizations also complained of attacks, which put foreign journalists in China at risk.
But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Xiao Lijian on Thursday called the BBC a “fake news broadcasting company” and said the British broadcaster had tried to attack China by showing confusion in journalistic standards.
He said the BBC deserved the attitude that it was unpopular with the Chinese people and there was no reason for hatred.
On Tuesday, the youth wing of China’s ruling Communist Party, which has 1.6 million followers, posted online comments to monitor the movements of BBC reporters, sparking a war of words.
BBC correspondents received death threats in comments made by nationalists from the Henan Communist Youth League.
Last week, the Chinese city of Zhengzhou recorded the heaviest rainfall of the year in just three days, killing at least 14 people and flooding the city’s subway system, trapping more than 500 passengers.
City and provincial officials faced demands for accountability, while the wife of one of the victims told local media that she would sue the Whistleblow Metro administration for negligence.
But despite calls for transparency, foreign journalists face increasingly biased attitudes in China, as sensitivity to China’s negative image is now at an all-time high.
The Chinese Club of Foreign Representatives said in a statement that reporters in Zhengzhou were surrounded by angry locals while Chinese news assistants received threatening messages.
He warned that the rhetoric of organizations affiliated with China’s ruling Communist Party was a direct threat to the safety of foreign journalists in China and an obstacle to independent reporting.
AFP reporters were forced to delete the footage by Zhengzhou’s people and were surrounded by dozens of people reporting on a submerged tunnel.
However, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that foreign envoys enjoy an environment of independent reporting in China.
Contrary to his claims, however, independent media groups say it is becoming increasingly difficult for foreign reporters to work where journalists are chased in the streets, harassed online and issued visas. Is denied.