BBC World Service: Mandarin Broadcasts

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Lord Avebury Lord Avebury Shadow Minister, Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs

asked Her Majesty's Government:

With whom, during her visit to China, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport raised the jamming of the BBC World Service Mandarin broadcasts; how many times this matter has been discussed in the United Kingdom–China human rights dialogue and elsewhere; and whether they will ask other states engaged in human rights dialogues, together with the European Union, to express the hope that the jamming will now cease.

Photo of Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Middle East)

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport discussed this issue during her visit to China on 18–22 January with Xu Guangchun, the Director of the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television.

We have raised the issue at each of the 10 human rights dialogue rounds held to date. In addition, Ministers and senior officials have also raised the issue in bilateral meetings. We shall continue to press the Chinese on this issue and on our concerns about the lack of freedom of expression in China more generally.

Other countries in the EU raise a wide range of human rights issues in their human rights dialogues with China, including the right to freedom of expression in general. We have not asked other countries to raise this issue on our behalf.

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