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A promotion event for Xinjiang held in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, March 26. Photo: Xinhua/Ding Lei via Getty Images

The BBC's Beijing correspondent John Sudworth has left the city and relocated to Taiwan after nine years, citing threats, surveillance and intimidation of his team in the wake of their reporting on Uyghur forced labor in Xinjiang.

The big picture: The number of foreign correspondents reporting from China has dwindled over the past several years as tensions have ratcheted up between Beijing and the West.

  • The Chinese government revoked press credentials last March for a number of U.S. journalists working for the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, retaliating for state media restrictions by the Trump administration.
  • In September, the last two Australian journalists in China were forced to leave after a five-day diplomatic standoff.

What they're saying: "Abuse of Sudworth and his colleagues at the BBC form part of a larger pattern of harassment and intimidation that obstructs the work of foreign correspondents in China and exposes their Chinese news assistants to growing pressure," the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China said in a statement.

  • "John's reporting has exposed truths the Chinese authorities did not want the world to know," the BBC added.
  • The Chinese state-run Global Times accused Sudworth of "biased reporting" and said his coverage of the COVID pandemic and repression in Xinjiang was "full of smears."

Go deeper

Burst bubble: Chinese Super League in financial turmoil

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Chinese Super League was on the rise and threatening to tilt the balance of global soccer during the last decade. Now, it's in complete disarray.

Why it matters: The CSL helped catalyze China's soccer boom, and its foreign stars brought a global audience to its shores. Now, the league's uncertain future could damage soccer's domestic popularity.

China's soccer dream

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese President Xi Jinping hoped to make China a global leader in soccer, his favorite sport. After years of massive government support, that dream has so far fallen short.

The big picture: China's soccer dream isn't ending, but the initial investment frenzy seems to have slowed.

Mar 30, 2021 - World

Chinese soccer investment retreats from Europe

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Chinese money, which five years ago poured into European soccer at a meteoric rate, is now returning home just as quickly as it went abroad.

The big picture: China's long-term goal of growing its global soccer profile hasn't changed, but the strategy to attain it has become more focused.