Organizers of the Beijing Winter Olympics have accused Western journalists of posing "lying-based" questions about the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim citizens in Xinjiang province.
Regarding the handling of the Taiwanese Olympic Committee, called Chinese Taipei in the Olympic world, Yan Jiarong, spokeswoman for the Chinese Organizing Committee BOCOG said, "There is only one China in the world.
We always oppose the politicization of the games.”
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What was remarkable about the speaker's appearance was that the journalists' questions were not directed at her but at the spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, Mark Adams.
Adams did not respond to an Australian journalist's question about whether the Taiwanese NOC will be forced by the IOC to attend Sunday's Winter Games closing ceremony.
Regarding the Feb. 4 opening ceremony, which Taiwan attended as Chinese Taipei only after the IOC threatened repercussions, Adams said the issue was settled.
After the IOC spokesman, Yan Jiarong took the floor: "We have to make a very serious statement." This was followed by the statement on the one-China policy.
Adams did not want to say whether Yan Jiarong's words were a political statement.
"You are invited to inform yourself"
The Chinese spokeswoman took a similar view when Adams was asked about the processing of cotton from the Xinjiang province by the Chinese IOC outfitter Anta.
After the IOC spokesman explained that the clothes worn by IOC staff in Beijing did not contain cotton and did not want to comment on the sportswear manufacturer's wider range of cotton-containing products, Yan Jiarong said: "I feel obliged to say that so-called forced labor is a lie.
There are a lot of facts that refute that.”
When asked by FAZ.NET how the IOC views facts about forced labor and camps in Xinjiang, Adams replied that "Madame Yan's" view was "not relevant to this press conference and certainly not relevant to the IOC.
We are very, very concerned about protecting human rights within the sphere of the games.” Adams spoke at length about the political approval that there is in all parts of the world for hosting the games in Beijing.
When asked the specific question, he said: "Questions about matters outside the Games should be answered by others."
When Adams finished speaking, Yan Jiarong spoke again and sharpened his tone.
"Even though you, Mark, have been asked the question and the issues are irrelevant to the Winter Games, these questions are very much based on lies.
Some authorities have already refuted this with a lot of evidence.
You are invited to fill them in on all the facts and evidence.”
The camps in Xinjiang, in which, according to human rights groups, at times more than a million Uyghurs and other Muslims were held captive, are, according to the Chinese account, training facilities that primarily serve the purpose of deradicalization.
Experts in international law see the treatment of the Muslim minorities as a crime against humanity in light of reports about forced sterilization, and some lawyers also classify the treatment of the Muslim minorities as cultural genocide.
It was the last joint press conference by the BOCOG and IOC Olympic organizers.
Another guest of the round was the volunteer helper Wei Yining, who enthusiastically raved about her experience.
When asked by a Times reporter if she knew tennis player Peng Shuai, Wei said, "I'm sorry, I don't know anything about that."
The tennis player went missing for several weeks in November after accusing senior party official Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault.
Peng Shuai met IOC President Thomas Bach at the beginning of the Winter Games and, after three visits to Olympic venues, Bach said he went into a three-week quarantine, which continues.
The name Peng Shuai continues to be censored on Chinese social media.Keywords: