A member of China’s Olympics organizing committee warned that foreign athletes may face punishment for speech that violates Chinese law at the 2022 Winter Games, spotlighting concerns about the country’s restrictions on political expression.
“Any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit I’m sure will be protected,” Yang Shu, deputy director general of international relations for the Beijing Organizing Committee, said in a news conference Tuesday. “Any behavior or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against the Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment.”
In broad strokes, China’s stance falls in line with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) established rule against political protest at the Games. The IOC also announced before last year’s Summer Games in Tokyo that athletes who staged protests there would be punished, ignoring U.S. calls to allow respectful protest for human rights issues.
China warns foreign Olympic athletes against speaking out on politics at Winter GamesChina warns foreign Olympic athletes against speaking out on politics at Winter Games