Asia

BBC ending shortwave transmissions from Thailand

Britain's BBC has announced it is ending its shortwave transmissions from Thailand after 20 years of operation because it failed to reach agreement with Thailand's military government on a renewal of its operating permit.

The BBC said in a statement Wednesday that the transmitters have been off the air since Jan. 1 this year after the previous agreement expired, and that financial constraints contributed to the decision to close the site after extensive negotiations.

East Asia was the primary area served by the transmitters in Thailand. The BBC moved its East Asia relay station to Thailand from Hong Kong after the handover of the British colony to China in 1997.

Thailand's government has publicly criticized the BBC's online Thai language service, which covers political developments more frankly than local media.

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Associated Press editor Jonathan Shenfield in London contributed to this report.