CHINA / SOCIETY
China's national sports authority says preparations for Beijing Winter Olympic Games continue as planned, condemning slanders from 'human rights groups'
Published: Mar 10, 2021 11:20 PM
Photo taken on March 4, 2020 shows a rendering of the National Sliding Center for 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. During the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the National Sliding Center will host bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events. (Xinhua)

Photo taken on March 4, 2020 shows a rendering of the National Sliding Center for 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. During the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the National Sliding Center will host bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events. Photo: Xinhua


Li Yingchuan, vice minister of China's General Administration of Sport, said that the preparations for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games are running "very smoothly," expressing hopes for the scheduled opening of the event in February next year. 

Li, also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, condemned the call for a boycott of the games and repudiated criticism by some so-called human rights groups, saying they are slanderous, false, biased and cannot have any influence on the Olympic Games. Li opposed the politicization of the sports event, Hong Kong media outlet rthk.hk reported on Wednesday.

He said the biggest challenge in preparing for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games is the COVID-19 pandemic. Although China's epidemic prevention and control is very good, the situation is different overseas, where many qualifying events for the games have been cancelled, Li explained.

A group of 180 so-called human rights groups, which recently published an open letter demanding a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, are primarily linked to organizations that support Xinjiang and Tibet independence, and Hong Kong's violent protesters. 

Li Haidong, professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday, that "at a time when the Winter Olympic Games are well prepared for and set to be held smoothly, these so-called human rights organizations are sparing no effort to insult China, which is obviously malicious and against the Olympic spirit."

Behind the defamation campaign of these organizations, some governments are actually using NGOs to send signals to test the reactions of countries, Li noted. 

If the international community falls prey to these rumors, some governments might openly discredit and ostracize China, Li pointed out.

Li Yingchuan also referred to the Tokyo Olympic Games, expressing support to hold the event as scheduled this year while ensuring the safety and health of athletes, the Hong Kong media report said.

The vice minister added that there is little possibility that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed again, but if the COVID-19 pandemic escalates, the event is likely to be cancelled.

Athletes have a limited career span, Li said, noting that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games for one year has had a negative impact on the performance of many athletes and is a huge blow for them. 


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