Political ploys should not hijack sports: China Daily editorial

2021-02-05 12:08:12

[Photo/Xinhua] Some so-called rights groups issued an open letter on Wednesday calling for countries to boycott next year's Beijing Winter Olympics. Yet none of the reasons they have given to justify their appeals withstand even the most cursory scrutiny. A glance at the list of these groups is enough to show what they are endorsing, and what it is they are up to. Most of the groups are organizations funded by the United States to act as its pawns to try to separate the three autonomous regions of Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia, and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from China. Together, these regions cover an area of more than 4 million square kilometers, nearly half the size of the country. The US would not be patronizing these organizations if they were calling for parts to be lopped off the US. Nor would it have any tolerance for them if these groups' connections with extremist and terrorist organizations represented a threat to US citizens. The reason why these organizations feel their "rights" are being violated in China is because the country has taken effective measures to curb their secessionist activities and prevent them from poisoning the minds of others with their evil intentions. China's measures to counter terrorism, separatism and extremism have effectively thwarted the attempts of these groups and their foreign backers to destabilize and partition the country. Rather than the public flogging of China they desire, these groups are publicly flogging their own dead horses. The cold shoulder these groups have met from the International Olympic Committee and the international community, after they made the same appeal in December, shows that it is these groups themselves that are being boycotted for their attempts to politicize the Winter Olympics. By telling the media that Olympic Games should be "beyond any political dispute", IOC President Thomas Bach has shown the organization is not willing to be drawn into the ploys of those hoping to hijack the sporting event and use it as a stage on which to display their ambitions. Thursday started the one-year countdown to the Beijing Winter Olympics. Given the deep wounds the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted upon the world, the confidence Bach expressed in the success of the event highlights the general wish that the sporting spectacle can bring the world closer together, rather than being fertile ground for the political virus that some are so keen to spread.