Wednesday, December 8, 2021

US urges China to give freedom to journalists at Beijing Olympics

The United States urged China not to restrict access and movement of journalists as they report on the 2022 Winter Olympics.

US officials did not disclose whether the US would participate in the Games, but said Washington would continue to raise concerns over China’s human rights issues.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “We urge PRC (People’s Republic of China) officials not to limit freedom of movement and access for journalists and to ensure that they remain safe and secure at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.” Be able to report independently. Said in response to questions from the VOA during Thursday’s press briefing.

In a statement this week, Beijing-based journalists expressed deep concern about the “lack of transparency and clarity” of reporting related to the Olympics in China.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said in a tweet that “over the past year, the foreign press corps has been consistently blocked in coverage of preparations for the Winter Olympic Games, denied attendance at regular events, and sports in China.” prohibited from visiting the sites.

A reporter for an international broadcaster said, “We put together a TV story with the contents of the tour of the Olympic venue and mentions of human rights boycotts.” “Soon after, the tour organizer called me on the Chinese chat app WeChat, and yelled at me in English and Chinese for my report, threatening not to invite us in the future. We haven’t been given access since.”

‘serious concern’

Days after G20 leaders approved the Beijing Games, the State Department said the US “remains deeply concerned about the situation in Xinjiang and many other issues related to human rights in the PRC.”

The G20 leaders said in a joint declaration after the 30-31 October gathering in Rome that they “look forward to the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics 2022,” adding that opportunities for athletes from around the world to compete ” serve as a “symbol of humanity’s resilience.”

In Beijing, Chinese officials interpreted the statement as a welcome endorsement, as the country prepares to host the Games on February 4-20.

“The event has recently received good wishes and support from the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and many countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during Wednesday’s briefing.

“Dignitaries and Olympic Committee officials from countries including Austria, France, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Russia and Belarus stated that they support and will participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics,” Wang said.

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The Winter Games have faced controversy and opposition, even though Chinese officials said Beijing would continue to follow an “inclusive and open” approach to the Games.

call for boycott

Human rights activists and both Democratic and Republican members of the US Congress have called for a boycott of the Winter Olympics because of China’s human rights record.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States will continue to raise concerns about human rights issues as it works with China in areas of aligning interests such as Iran, North Korea and the climate crisis.

Blinken met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the margins of the G-20 in Rome on Sunday, ahead of a virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping until the end of the year.

The two countries are looking forward to a virtual bilateral between their leaders after the upcoming virtual meetings between the leaders in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

The APEC Economic Leaders Meeting, hosted by New Zealand, is on 12 November.

According to diplomatic sources, a virtual meeting between Biden and Xi is unlikely during APEC. Some analysts said they saw little gain in planning the bilateral meeting around the virtual APEC summit in the US and China.

Drew Thompson, a senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan, said, “The multilateral agenda is neither held hostage to US-China relations, nor the two largest economies on the planet in their virtual circles around the virtual summit. The calendar needs to be scheduled.” U School of Public Policy.

US officials say keeping the lines of communication open is a way to responsibly manage competition between Washington and Beijing and avoid military conflicts.

Thompson said that while the US is clear about mitigating risks and preventing misperception and miscalculation, Beijing’s top priority is for Washington to see the error of its ways and develop policies and approaches that will help Beijing Sounds right, Thompson said.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Price said the US has a “One China” policy that is “different from the PRC’s version,” hitting back at remarks from Chinese Foreign Minister Wang, who said the US should “pursue one”. Should do “real one China policy instead of fake.”


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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