Amid escalating tensions between the two nations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it had registered "stern representations" with the British Broadcasting Corporation while demanding an apology for unfair and biased reporting on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic in China.

"We stand by our accurate and fair reporting of events in China and totally reject these unfounded accusations of fake news or ideological bias," the BBC said in response.

The spat follows the British media regulator Ofcom's decision Thursday morning to revoke the UK broadcasting license of China Global Television Network (CGTN).

Following an investigation, the British regulator found that CGTN is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and therefore does not meet the legal requirements for a broadcasting license under UK law.