The spokeswoman for the organizers of Beijing-2022 described as “lies” the complaints about human rights violations in the Xinjiang region and rejected “politicizing” the Olympic Games, although she defended China’s position on Taiwan.
The weeks leading up to the sporting event were marked by discussions about respect for human rights in China, especially in the Muslim region of Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, which prompted a diplomatic boycott by the United States and its allies.
Even during the Games, questions on this issue have regularly surfaced at the daily press conferences organized by the spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the local organizers.
“These issues are irrelevant to the Winter Games, but I feel compelled to make a quick comment again,” said organizing committee spokeswoman Yan Jiarong, after questions from foreign journalists about Xinjiang.
“These issues are mostly based on lies. Some authorities have disputed this false information with a lot of solid evidence,” Yan said, criticizing “deliberate lies by some groups” about this region.
Human rights groups say that at least a million Uyghur Muslims and other Turkic minorities have been confined in camps in Xinjiang, where forced labor is allegedly practiced and women are sterilized.
China vehemently rejects these accusations and assures that they are training camps to combat extremist Islam.
“We are always against the idea of politicizing the Olympic Games,” he insisted.
The organizing committee spokeswoman was also asked about the issue of Taiwan, an autonomously governed island that Beijing considers part of its territory.
At the Olympics, the island competes under the “Chinese Taipei” label.
Taking advantage of a question about the participation of Taiwanese athletes in Sunday’s closing ceremony, Yan defended Beijing’s principle that there is “only one China in the world.”
“Taiwan is an indivisible part of China and this is a recognized international principle,” the spokeswoman said.