BBC correspondent threatens to leave China for Taiwan

The BBC’s Chinese correspondent, John Sadworth, left China after the Communist Party threatened legal action against him and his team.

In a statement posted on Twitter Wednesday, the BBC said Sudworth had moved from Beijing to Taiwan.

“John’s work has revealed the truth that Chinese authorities don’t want the world to know,” said a British broadcaster.

“The BBC is proud of the award-winning coverage while John was in Beijing, and he remains a Chinese correspondent.”

Sudworth and his family were followed by a plainclothes police officer, the BBC, to the airport and check-in area. report..

According to the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC), Sadworth “hurried away from mainland China on March 23, amid concerns about the safety of him and his family.”

His wife, Yvonne Murray, a Chinese correspondent for the Irish broadcaster RTE, left with him.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the FCCC said, “Sadworth was disinformation and false attacks targeting him and his BBC colleagues, spread by both Chinese national media and Chinese government officials. I left after the information. “

“These included a video posted online by state media that named him and used his footage taken from a Chinese police camera.”

According to the FCCC, Chinese authorities have issued only one-month, three-month, and six-month short visas to Sudworth for the past two years. He said he had crossed the “red line”. “

The threat intensified after British broadcast regulator Ofcom revoked the license of CGTN, an international English satellite news channel directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), on February 4.

The Chinese administration announced on February 11 that it will remove BBC World News from broadcasting in China.

On March 18, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region officials said in a Chinese propaganda agency, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region We are planning to sue the BBC for violating our policies. ” region. “

“Curiously, Chinese authorities have also shown a willingness to threaten journalists with legal action, which could ban journalists from leaving China and ban them from leaving the country,” the FCCC said. Said.

In September 2020, the Australian government evacuated two journalists from China after authorities tried to prevent them from leaving the country.

Bill Bartles of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Mike Smith of the Australian Financial Review (AFR) fled to the diplomatic mission for five days before they were allowed to leave.

Victoria Kelly-Clark contributed to this report.

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