With or without phones and laptops, Dutch athletes will see real China with their own eyes
Published: Jan 12, 2022 10:05 PM
Shougang Ski Jumping Platform Photo: IC

Shougang Ski Jumping Platform Photo: IC

The more efforts certain Western officials make to raise the heat of anti-China momentum for boycotting 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the more helpless they are in covering the fact - few are interested in being in the league.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported Dutch athletes were warned to keep phones and laptops out of China to avoid Chinese espionage. This is, for either China or the Winter Games, a petty trick that can hardly make waves. 

Reuters quoted Geert Slot, spokesperson of the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOCNSF), as saying "cybersecurity was part of the risk assessment made for the trip to China." It also quoted sources who shared their information with Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant as noting, "Dutch team members will be equipped with unused devices in China, to protect their personal data from Chinese surveillance."

The Netherlands is learning from typical propaganda rhetoric of the Five Eyes, the Anglosphere intelligence alliance, Shen Yi, a professor with the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told Global Times. The rhetoric suggests that China is spying on its 1.4 billion people, as well as each and every foreigner on its soil. But the accusation is based on fake news, ignorance and the West's own deeds. 

Is the infamous PRISM global data surveillance program China's scandal? When it comes to which countries behave the worst in spying on others, the US and its core allies are supposed to know much better than others. 

"Those countries believe when democracies are monitoring their citizens without restraint, a communist country must be doing worse," Shen said. 

Slot's remarks may have something to do with his meeting with Xizang-born secessionist Dhondup Wangchen in November 2021. Wangchen was sentenced to six years in prison for subversion in 2009 and currently lives in the US. In his meeting with Slot, Wangchen urged the NOCNSF not to let Dutch athletes be misused by China. 

The US may likely be the one who pulled the strings of the Wangchen tour in Europe, given its predicament in which very few countries are responding to its previous high-profile appeal on not sending diplomatic or official representation to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. Facing the silence on its call from most of the world, the US is embarrassed and is eager to play more ruses, according to Shen. 

Slot seems to wish to take advantage of echoing the US in boycotting the Beijing Winter Olympics for their personal as well as Dutch interests. There are other European politicians like him. But they think so highly of themselves. Take Slot's call. Athletes are ordinary people when they are not on the field of play. Why would they be concerned about participating in the Winter Games in Beijing? 

Do either NOCNSF or certain Dutch politicians have the nerve to publicly ask athletes to boycott the Beijing Winter Olympics? Obviously no. That's why we are hearing lame excuses such as the so-called Chinese espionage, raised by the Netherlands, or the call to avoid Chinese meat, voiced by German Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), for possible clenbuterol contamination. "They are doing a poor job even when smearing China," Shen stressed, adding the hype over China's meat with clenbuterol is so outdated. If they do care about food safety, the very meat they should avoid is American pork. 

National Speed Skating Oval Photo: IC

National Speed Skating Oval Photo: IC

Still, the tricks from Western countries will continue, as they fear a large number of athletes who come to participate in the Winter Olympic Games will see and experience a real China. 

How exactly does China prevent and control the COVID-19? What is China's development and people's life like? The West can no longer hide the truth from their people. Western politicians, elites and news outlets have jointly created a bubble of information in their countries, filtering out the truth from China. But the Beijing Winter Games will make athletes to get out of that bubble, according to Shen.

With or without their phones and laptops, the athletes will see China with their own eyes. 

In recent months, the Netherlands has been witnessing protests against COVID-19 restrictions turning violent, with a growing number of people and police officers injured.

In a plight when confronting the surging virus, what the Netherlands, or some of its politicians, needs the most is not playing the anti-China tricks, but taking the opportunity of participating in the Beijing Games to learn from China's epidemic prevention approaches.