Visiting athletes who protest at Beijing Olympics will face ‘certain punishment’, says China

China says it will not indulge any behaviour violating the Olympic spirit

Arpan Rai
Wednesday 19 January 2022 14:39
Comments
Winter Olympics
Winter Olympics

China has warned it will punish visiting athletes during next month’s Winter Olympics who indulge in behaviour violating the “spirit” of the Games or rules set by Beijing.

Yang Shu, the deputy director general of the Beijing 2022 international relations department, said China would not hesitate to take action.

“Any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit I’m sure will be protected and anything and any behaviour or speeches that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment,” said Mr Yang.

He added that cancellation of accreditation was a likely punishment if rules were broken.

The deputy director general was speaking on Wednesday at an event at China’s embassy in Washington.

The comments come just a day after athletes travelling to China were warned against speaking on the issue of human rights for their own safety by speakers at a seminar.

According to the Olympic Charter, rule 50 says that “no kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites”.

However, the rule was eased last year ahead of the delayed Tokyo Olympics in a bid to permit gestures on the field if they are made without causing disruption to the game and with respect for the competitors participating in the game.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said athletes can express their opinions on any matter in press conferences, interviews, in team meetings and traditional or digital media in the Olympic bubble.

The views have to be “consistent with the Fundamental Principles of Olympism; not targeted, directly or indirectly, against people, countries, organisations and/or their dignity; not disruptive”, it said.

The Winter Olympics start on 4 February in Beijing next month, but have been mired in controversies due to concerns over widespread human rights violations by the Xi Jinping-led administration – particularly the Uyghur population.

Leading the charge, the US has called China’s actions against minorities as an ongoing “genocide”, an allegation denied by Beijing.

In November last year, the US became the first country to announce a diplomatic boycott of the games, followed by Britain, Japan and Australia, citing human rights concerns.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in