China has threatened to hit back after the UK's media regulator fined its state broadcaster CGTN claiming its reporting is biased.
Ofcom slapped a $311,000 fine on the network on Monday after UK national Peter Humphrey said he was forced to make a criminal confession on China Global Television Network in 2013. This came on top of complaints that CGTN programmes on Hong Kong's democracy protests had "failed to maintain due impartiality”.
Fraud investigator Humphrey was jailed for more than two years by a Chinese court in 2014 in connection with a corruption case involving pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.
English-language satellite broadcaster CGTN has long faced criticism for parroting the Communist Party line in its global broadcasts and last month
Ofcom revoked its licence after finding the state-backed ownership structure broke UK law.
But Beijing denied the accusations and on Tuesday said the fine showed "intense ideological prejudice against China" and was "naked political oppression”.
"CGTN has always upheld the principles of objectivity and fairness when conducting reporting," foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, adding China "reserved the right to make justified and necessary responses”.
Last month, China banned BBC World News, accusing it of flouting guidelines over a hard-hitting report about Beijing's treatment of the country's Uighur minority.
The move, widely seen as retaliation for Ofcom's ban on CGTN, was followed by accusations from Chinese officials and state media that the BBC had manipulated its footage to cast China in a negative light.
- Reporting by AFP