Politics and the Olympics don’t mix well. Preferring to focus on the sporting event, Beijing has skirted questions surrounding its crimes against humanity. Their stance has been that the Olympics is not the time nor place to discuss such matters. With the games starting to wind down, the Chinese organizing committee held its final news conference, and they were blindsided.
This isn’t to infer that the committee wasn’t fully prepared should they be forced to answer sensitive questions. When push came to shove, they turned into robots with calculated and pre-rehearsed answers.
They were asked about China’s infatuation with Taiwan, Uyghur Muslims being forced into labor camps, and even the country’s sovereignty which violates international norms. Why are they so secretive about everything?
Yan Jiarong, committee chairman, said the exploitation of Ughyrs from Chinas Xinjiang region, their living conditions, and the slavery status of those in captivity is “based on lies.” Stating the obvious, she said, “What I want to say is that there is only one China in the world.” We know this. She also said that China stands firmly in its “solemn position,” whatever that meant.
Yan and International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams came under heavy fire from the press. This was the media’s last chance to pop the top off that can of worms. Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who mysteriously disappeared, was asked about due to concerns for her personal safety. The question went unanswered.
Yan opened her time at the podium in English but later switched to Chinese when attempting to stress important points. She asked of Adams, “Mark, could I just make some supplementary remarks?”
Speaking in Chinese, she made Bejing’s stance on Taiwan quite clear. “Taiwan is an indivisible part of China and this is a well recognized international principle and well recognized in the international community. We are always against the idea of politicizing the Olympic Games.” For the record, the international community disagrees.
A non-Chinese journalist immediately became vocal by saying it was Yan who turned the Games political. She should have ignored the questions about Taiwan. With an exhausting huff, Adams replied, “There are views on all sorts of things around the world, but our job is to make sure the Games take place.”
A Chinese graduate student who was volunteering at the Games was not expecting to answer any questions, but she was singled out when a reporter stunned her by asking if she knew whether or not Peng Shuai was safe. All the young girl could answer was, “Well, I am sorry. I don’t really know that.”
When Adams was asked about the IOC’s stance concerning the existence of the Ughyr “concentration camps,” he averted the question by saying it wasn’t “particularly relevant.”
Once again, Yan spoke up on Beijing’s behalf. “I think these questions are very much based on lies,” she said. “Some authorities have already disputed this false information. There is a lot of solid evidence. You are very welcome to refer to all that evidence and the facts.”
Adams was asked if any of the IOC outfits and uniforms were made by Ughyr slaves. “None of the production took place in Xinjiang, nor any of the input of raw materials comes from that region,” he answered. There was no mention of the concentration camps in Beijing, where much of the forced labor is done.
Yan replied to this question as well. “I think the so-called forced labor in Xinjiang [sic] are lies made up by deliberate groups. And the relevant organizations have provided a large [sic] amount of facts to dispute that. And we are against the politicization of sports.”
Yan did a perfect job at bypassing the truth about China, as did Adams in his attempts at keeping the peace. As the Olympics come to a close, China will once again block itself off from the outside world and will go back to life as usual for the poor misguided and mistreated citizens of this Communist country who have no way of knowing any better. Sucks to be them.