China is being buried under an avalanche of icy barbs as next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing descends into a public relations disaster.
Scrambling to counter claims of human rights violations against ethnic Uighur Muslims and civil rights abuses in Hong Kong, Beijing has launched a state-backed media campaign.
Nationalistic tabloid Global Times spearheaded the propaganda push this week with a vitriolic editorial, condemning plans by major democracies to launch a “diplomatic boycott.”
“The ideological conflicts between China and the West will escalate before the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022 as anti-Chinese forces will converge to make trouble for China,” the media group, controlled by the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, the People’s Daily, stated in a commentary.
“This event will not only be a comprehensive stress test for China’s ability to respond to various crises but also a catalyst for China’s growth as a major power,” Global Times said.
Going for tarnished gold:
- A coalition of 200 global campaign groups issued a statement in September about the Games.
- They said “at least two million Muslims – including Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Uzbeks – are locked in ‘re-education camps’ in China.”
- The group then pointed out “that the situation in occupied Tibet has dramatically deteriorated in 2021.”
- Civil rights in Hong Kong have also been crushed.
- They said, “freedom and democracy are under attack [while] youth activists are being rounded up and imprisoned en masse.”
- Inside China, “authorities routinely disappear government critics,” the statement said.
- As for democratic Taiwan, the campaign groups stressed that “Beijing has intensified its decades-long tactics of geopolitical bullying and intimidation.”
Sex claims: Former world’s doubles No. 1 Peng held a video call with the International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach, at weekend after “disappearing” for weeks. The conversation followed social media allegations that she was sexually assaulted by China’s former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.
Big picture: China has an appalling human and civil rights record with many critics labeling the Winter Games, the “Genocide Games.”
Repressive regime: Earlier this year, a Religious Freedom in the World Report said “the apparatus of repression constructed by the Chinese Communist Party is … fine-tuned, pervasive, and technologically sophisticated.”
Alternative view: “Within themselves, the US and the West will debate which comes first – values or economic interests. They are hooked by their own lies, and without dignity,” Global Times pointed out.
China Factor comment: Beijing fears that the Winter Olympics will end up being remembered as the “Genocide Games.” They are not wrong. Human rights are far more important than gold medals.