2022 Winter Olympics underway as China faces accusations of human rights abuses

Associated Press

In Beijing, Olympic ideals coexist with authoritarian rule

“In our fragile world, where division, conflict and mistrust are on the rise, we show the world that it is possible to be fierce rivals while at the same time living peacefully and respectfully together,” Thomas Bach, a gold-medalist fencer nearly 40 years ago, said Friday at the Winter Games’ opening ceremony. Critics of Bach and the IOC say those ideals are nonsense, and talk of respect and bridge-building is overshadowed by Olympic officials cozying up to some of the world’s most powerful authoritarian rulers. The IOC knows that Beijing has locked up hundreds of thousands of minority Uyghur Muslims, those critics say, and arrested countless people who dared voice criticism of the government.

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