Canadian public broadcaster CBC announces the closure of its Beijing branch
Canadian public broadcaster CBC announced on the 3rd that it would close its Chinese branch. The move comes after Beijing ignored Beijing’s request to have journalists preside in Beijing.
“We applied for a visa to the Chinese authorities, but Chinese officials remained silent for months,” the CBC said. CBC withdrew its correspondents in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic in China. The CBC, however, had not closed the bureau in anticipation of reopening.
The Beijing office did not respond to any knocks or doorbells on Thursday. Even if I called the branch number announced by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I did not answer it.
While China is taking an increasingly tough line in foreign relations, relations between Canada and China deteriorated sharply after the prisoner exchange of China’s Huawei Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou, who was indicted on U.S. fraud charges in September last year.
China imprisoned two Canadians immediately after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou at the request of extradition to the United States, but released Meng Wanzhou in September last year through a deal with the United States.
While many countries have condemned China’s actions as “hostage politics,” China has countered that the charges against Huawei and Meng Wanzhou stemmed from a political motive to thwart China’s economic and technological development.
Canada has banned Huawei equipment from being installed on high-speed 5G networks, and has joined in avoiding companies that have close ties to China’s ruling Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army.
China is increasingly restricting the presence of foreign media in China while strengthening its propaganda activities abroad. This position is in line with the growing confrontation with the United States and Western democracies over trade, human rights, and territorial claims.
China accuses Washington of escalating tensions after Washington cut 20 visas issued to Chinese state-run journalists and demanded that remainers register as foreign agents. China then expelled U.S. media reporters and severely limited the conditions of those who continue to work in China.
After being denied visas, many foreign media outlets have correspondents in Taiwan and other Asian centers that protect freedom of speech．