While the villages for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics opened for pre-Games trials on Sunday, Chinese state media slammed the US on the issue of the Olympic boycott being staged by several countries over rights issues in China. It is to mention that the Winter Olympics is set to begin in less than two weeks, with athletes from several countries travelling to Beijing for the event.
In an editorial, Global Times said that the Biden administration has tried to “incite” its allies to diplomatically boycott the Beijing Games, however, “most of the US allies and partners haven’t danced to Washington’s tune”.
Slamming Washington, the state media added, “political manoeuvring around the Beijing Winter Olympics will only become a splash of ice under the athletes’ feet.” Separately, the Chinese Communist Party-run daily said that the US itself eventually is sending 46 officials to attend the Beijing 2022 Games. “The diplomatic boycott has completely turned into a farce,” the media outlet added.
China issues warning to athletes against criticism of Beijing authorities
It is to mention that the 2022 Olympics will open on February 4 against the backdrop of severe criticism from the international community for its human rights violations against the Uyghur, Tibetans, Hong Kong, and many more. Earlier last month, the US announced that it will refrain from sending a delegation to the Games, a suit later followed by Australia, Canada, and the UK.
China, for its part, has rejected the diplomatic boycott as a useless move that goes against the Olympic spirit but has also threatened retaliation. Recently, China even warned national and foreign athletes against publicly speaking against the human rights situation in the nation.
“Any behaviour or speeches against the Olympic spirit, especially against Chinese laws and regulations will be subject to punishment”, Beijing 2022 International Relations Department Deputy Director-General Yang Shu said in a statement on Tuesday. As per reports, the Olympians will also face an Orwellian surveillance state and not be protected in case dangers arise from advocating civil rights on a public platform. Human Rights Watch and Australia have raised concerns over China’s attempt to “sportswash” Beijing’s reputation by “prosecuting people’s free speech.”