Cyber-wellness Means Cyber-awareRead more Addressing maternal mental healthcare in AfricaRead more Qatar v. Ecuador to kick off FIFA World Cup 2022™ on 20 NovemberRead more Webb Fontaine Announces Launch of Niger National Single Window (NNSW) to Bolster TradeRead more Ethiopia: Loan from United Nations Fund Allows Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to Scale Up Fertilizers for Farmers in TigrayRead more How Choosing the Right Printer Helps Small Businesses and Content Creators to Save Time, Maximise Productivity and Achieve GrowthRead more The United States Contributes USD $223 Million to Help World Food Programme (WFP) Save Lives and Stave Off Severe Hunger in South SudanRead more Eritrea: World Breastfeeding WeekRead more Eritrean community festival in Scandinavian countriesRead more IOM: Uptick in Migrants Heading Home as World Rebounds from COVID-19Read more

US warns China will use Olympics to gloss over abuses

show caption
A Falun Gong activist holds a sign in January 2021 next to a tour group from mainland China, where repression of the spiritual group prompted US sanctions on a former official./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

May 13, 2021 - 09:57 AM

WASHINGTON — The United States warned Wednesday that Beijing would use the Winter Olympics to gloss over abuses as it slapped sanctions on another Chinese official over treatment of the Falun Gong.

Releasing an annual US report on international religious freedom that found widespread concerns in China, a senior official said the United States was still considering its moves ahead of the Olympics in February.

“We can’t turn a blind eye to Beijing’s abhorrent human rights record,” said Dan Nadel, a State Department official who works on religious freedom.

“We’re reviewing options on policy and messaging related to the Games that will advance US priorities, which includes countering Beijing’s intent to use the Games as a platform to somehow validate their governing model and paper over their gross human rights violations,” he told reporters.

Nadel argued that such violations included Tibet, Hong Kong and the rest of China, particularly the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

The Chinese government has “turned Xinjiang into an open-air camp” where people’s movements are “closely tracked,” Nadel said.

“We recognize that when it comes to the Olympics, our efforts will be most effective if we act alongside likeminded partners,” he said, adding that the administration was “consulting with Congress, allies and partners and other key stakeholders as we proceed.”

Human rights groups and figures from former president Donald Trump’s Republican Party have urged a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, amid a sharp deterioration of relations between the United States and China.

President Joe Biden’s administration has stopped short of backing a boycott, an idea strongly opposed by US athletes and that is seen as unlikely to gain widespread support among other Western nations.

The United States under both presidents has accused China of carrying out genocide in the western region of Xinjiang, where more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic people are estimated to be held in camps.

In the latest US action, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Yu Hui, a Chengdu-based former official who was in charge of dealing with “heretical religions,” would along with his family be denied admission to the United States.

Blinken pointed to his “gross violations of human rights” including arbitrary detentions of members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Beijing in 2009 launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong after the group demonstrated growing influence.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.