The Beijing communist government expelled foreign reporters for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times during disputes with the Trump administration last year.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the move in a written statement as “an unacceptable restriction on freedom of the media” that “would only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world”.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of China expressed concern over allegations that the BBC had violated “national interests” and “national unity”.

This could be a “warning to foreign media operating in China that sanctions may be imposed on them if their reporting does not align with the Chinese party line on Xinjiang and other ethnic minority regions,” the group said in a statement.

In Hong Kong, the government broadcaster RTHK announced that it would stop broadcasting BBC World programs on Friday. She cited the main regulator’s order that applied to all areas of China.

The move reflects the ruling Communist Party’s increasing control over the former British colony over the past two years. This has led to complaints. Beijing violates autonomy and civil liberties based on the Western model. Hong Kong was promised when it returned to China in 1997.

British communications watchdog Ofcom revoked its license for CGTN, China’s English-language satellite news broadcaster, on February 4th. Among other things, he cited links to the Communist Party.