President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach on Friday dismissed comments made by a Chinese official in what appeared to be a rare public rebuke of host China.
In response to a question about the comments of a spokeswoman Beijing Olympics At a news conference on Thursday, Bach said Olympic officials had not ignored the “problem” and had spoken with Beijing organizers.
“Both organizations – the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee – have reaffirmed their unequivocal commitment to remain politically neutral as required by the Olympic Charter,” he told reporters Friday, referring to the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.
The Olympic Charter It says that “no kind of political, religious or ethnic demonstration or propaganda is permitted in any Olympic venues, venues, areas or other areas.”
The relevant remarks were made the day before by spokeswoman Yan Jiarong, who weighed in on questions to IOC spokesman Mark Adams that addressed some of the most sensitive issues for China, including Taiwan and the Uyghur population.
When asked about the participation of a delegation from Taiwan in the opening and closing ceremonies, Yan said, “There is only one China in the world.”
“Taiwan is an inseparable part of China and this is an international principle that is well recognized and well recognized in the international community. We are always against the idea of politicizing the Olympic Games. Yan Jiarong.VCG via Getty Images
Taiwan is a democratic and self-governing country Beijing claims its territory. Taiwanese athletes have long competed under the name Chinese Taipei and cannot use the Taiwan flag.
Yan also referred to other assertions about China’s treatment of Uyghurs in the northwest region of Xinjiang as “based on lies.”
In response to a question about the position of the International Olympic Committee on reports of the existence of “concentration camps” in Xinjiang, and whether China uses forced labor there, Yan had taken into account.
“I think these questions are largely based on lies,” she said. “Some authorities have already disputed such false information with a lot of strong evidence. You are very welcome to point out all this evidence and facts.”
She made similar statements when Adams was asked if the IOC’s uniforms included products from Xinjiang.
Branded the United States and others The Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide. Beijing has repeatedly denied any mistreatment of the Muslim ethnic minority, insisting that its actions in Xinjiang were taken to combat terrorism.
The lead-up to the Olympics, which centered on human rights concerns, was overshadowed by the US-led diplomatic boycott. China asked the US to stop “interfering” in the games and said pressure would only make the Chinese people more united.
At the opening ceremony earlier this month, Chinese officials delivered a message of defiance to world leaders who boycotted the Games By choosing a cross-country skater from the Uyghurs From the western region of Xinjiang to deliver the ceremonial torch, a moment that often carries symbolic weight.
Saphora Smith is a London-based reporter for NBC News Digital.
Associated Press Contributed.