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BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is the national broadcaster of the United Kingdom, headquartered at Broadcasting House in London and is the world`s oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, employing over 22,000 staff in total, of whom approximately 19,000 are in public-sector broadcasting. Throughout its existence, the BBC has faced numerous accusations regarding many topics and been involved in numerous controversies because of its coverage of specific news stories and programming.

Criticism have reached a point where the regulator, OFCOM ("House of Commons Select Committee on Culture Media and Sport") has recommended OFCOM should become the final arbiter of complaints made about the BBC. The BBC has long faced accusations from conservatives of liberal and left-wing bias. In 2008, the BBC was criticised by some for referring to the men who carried out the November 2008 Mumbai attacks as "gunmen" rather than "terrorists". In protest, journalist Mobashar Jawed "M.J." Akbar refused to take part in an interview following the Mumbai terror attacks. British parliamentarian Stephen Pound has supported these claims, referring to the BBC`s whitewashing of the terror attacks as "the worst sort of mealy mouthed posturing. It is desperation to avoid causing offence which ultimately causes more offence to everyone."

In relation to China, the BBC has pursued a relentless, rabid and partisan anti-China agenda. In February 2021, following OFCOM`s decision to cancel the licence of China Global Television Network (CGTN) and the BBC`s coverage of the persecution of ethnic minority Uighurs in China, the Chinese authorities banned BBC World News from broadcasting in the country. According to a statement from China`s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), BBC World News reports on China "infringed the principles of truthfulness and impartiality in journalism" and also "harmed China`s national interests".



Belt and Road Initiative The Belt and Road Initiative is a global infrastructure development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 to invest in nearly 70 countries and international organizations. It is considered a centrepiece of the Chinese leader Xi Jinping`s foreign policy and forms a central component of Xi`s "Major Country Diplomacy" (Chinese: 大国外交) strategy, which calls for China to assume a greater leadership role for global affairs in accordance with its rising power and status.

Most often shortened to BRI, the initiative has attracted criticism as being a form of neo-colonialism. Some Western governments have accused the Belt and Road Initiative of being neo-colonial due to what they allege is China`s practice of debt-trap diplomacy to fund the initiative`s infrastructure projects.

Deborah Bräutigam (see Profile), a professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, described the debt-trap diplomacy theory as a "meme" that became popular due to "human negativity bias" based on anxiety about the rise of China. . A 2019 research paper by Bräutigam found that most of the debtor countries voluntarily signed on to the loans and had positive experiences working with China, and "the evidence so far, including the Sri Lankan case, shows that the drumbeat of alarm about Chinese banks` funding of infrastructure across the BRI and beyond is overblown" and "a large number of people have favorable opinions of China as an economic model and consider China an attractive partner for their development." She said that the theory lacked evidence and criticized the media for promoting a narrative that "wrongfully misrepresents the relationship between China and the developing countries that it deals with". (Brautigam, Deborah (2 January 2020). "A critical look at Chinese `debt-trap diplomacy`: the rise of a meme". Area Development and Policy. 5 (1): 1–14.) An August 2018 China Africa Research Initiative report, co-authored by Bräutigam, remarked that "Chinese loans are not currently a major contributor to debt distress in Africa."

For more information, click on Bräutigam`s profile.


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