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China on Thursday lambasted Britain’s BBC World News for having produced “fake news” with strong ideological prejudice against the Asian country, days after its regulators barred the channel from airing in the mainland.

China opposes “any behavior that violates the professional ethics of journalism,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, when asked about the government’s decision last week to ban services of BBC World News.

Beijing’s move came after Britain earlier this month withdrew the license of the state-run China Global Television Network on the grounds that the Communist Party has ultimate editorial rights to the English international news channel.

Relations between Beijing and London have been frayed over China’s growing crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, a former British colony that was handed over to the communist-led mainland in 1997.

China’s apparent retaliation against Britain could further exacerbate bilateral tensions, foreign affairs experts say.