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China warns foreign Olympic athletes to speak about politics at the Winter Olympics

Broadly speaking, China’s stance is consistent with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) establishing rules against political protests at the Games. The IOC also announced that prior to last year’s Summer Games in Tokyo, athletes who protested there would be punished for ignoring the US call. To enable respectful protests against human rights issues.

Global anger spotlighted the Winter Olympics when tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared after accusing former Chinese officials of sexual assault. (Jason Aldag / The Washington Post)

However, China’s rulemaking seems to be stricter than that of the IOC, questioning how Beijing intends to interpret and enforce it. Rule 50 of the IOC Charter prohibits “demonstrations or political, religious or racial promotion” at the Olympic venues. On Tuesday, Yang said “speech” could be subject to punishment, citing Chinese law, which is far more restrictive than many countries.

Beijing’s warning arose during Western discussions on expected political restrictions and surveillance at the convention next month. For their own safety, speakers at a seminar hosted by Human Rights Watch on Tuesday advised athletes to criticize China’s human rights records while in Beijing, according to Reuters. ..

In China, government critics are routinely sentenced to imprisonment for staged political protests and commenting on social media. What is the biggest punishment for political demonstrations at the convention on Tuesday?

China’s human rights records have been closely monitored prior to the Olympics, and the United States and several other countries have diplomatically in this case as a statement to China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.” Announced a boycott.

Athletes’ freedom of speech in China also became a flash point after Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai made an explosive claim against former Chinese deputy prime minister Zhang Gaoli in November. Concerns about her safety.

Citizen Lab, a Canadian cybersecurity research group, reported Tuesday that a health tracking smartphone app that Olympic participants would need to download had a security flaw that could compromise user’s personal data. The app’s code includes a list of political keywords and users report “politically sensitive” content, according to Citizen Lab’s report.

A representative of the Beijing Organizing Committee said at a press conference on Tuesday that they were unaware of the political keyword list and would investigate the matter. Officials said they are working to patch security vulnerabilities in the app.

China’s Foreign Ministry also asked on Tuesday about reports that the United States and other countries advised athletes to bring “burnerphones” to Beijing to avoid surveillance. They themselves blame the innocent party without any evidence. “

Beijing announced on Monday that it would cancel the sale of public tickets to the convention because it recorded the first case of a highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Some direct flights will remain between the United States and China next week, but some have been canceled due to passenger coronavirus cases.

Mr Yang said the “dedicated department” would evaluate the punishment for athletes who violated the IOC’s political protest ban.

“I think athletes need to follow the spirit and requirements of the Olympic Charter in order to participate in the Olympics. Politicalization of sports is one of the oppositions of the Olympic Charter,” he said. ..

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