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China: newspaper accuses US of paying athletes to "disrupt" the 2022 Olympics

China: newspaper accuses US of paying athletes to “disrupt” the 2022 Olympics

An official Chinese newspaper accused Washington of “inciting” athletes to “foment unrest” during the Beijing 2022 Olympics, in particular by paying them, an accusation vehemently denied by the US embassy on Saturday.

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In the context of the “diplomatic boycott” of the Games by the United States in the name of protecting the Uyghurs, the article in the English-language daily China Daily is based on “informed sources” intending to denounce the “plot”.

The newspaper said “anti-Chinese forces” on US soil “encourage athletes” from several countries “to express dissatisfaction with China, take a negative attitude during competitions or even refuse to participate” in the Games.

In return, Washington will offer them “compensations”, denouncing these sources who accuse the United States of wanting to “create disturbances during the Games in order to politicize the event.”

“We have not coordinated or coordinated any global campaign related to participation in the Olympics,” a spokesman for the US embassy in Beijing said in an email to AFP.

“American athletes have the right to express themselves freely, in accordance with the spirit and charter of the Olympic Games, which includes the promotion of human rights,” the spokesperson continued.

In the name of human rights abuses in China, particularly against the Muslim Uyghur minority, the United States has persuaded some Western allies, including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, to implement a “diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Olympics.”

These countries will not send any officials to Beijing for the opening ceremony on Friday. On the other hand, their athletes will do well in competitions.

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With this article from China Daily, Beijing is seeking to “divert the public’s attention” from its egregious human rights record, the US Embassy estimates.

“We expect (China) to ensure the safety and well-being of our athletes – and all athletes – participating in the Beijing Olympics and to respect their human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged the United States to “stop disrupting” the Beijing Olympics, during a phone call with his US counterpart Anthony Blinken.