U.S. Ambassador: China Trying to ‘Distract’ from Human-Rights Abuses by Choosing Uyghur for Olympic Opening Ceremony

beijing olympics opening ceremony flag
The Chinese flag is raised throughout the opening event of the Beijing 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China, February 4,2022 (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations stated Sunday that China’s choice to plainly consistof a Uyghur professionalathlete in the Olympic opening event was a computed relocation designated to “distract us from the genuine concern at hand that Uyghurs are being tortured.”

On Friday, China selected Dinigeer Yilamujiang, a cross-country skier who China states has Uyghur roots, to provide the flame to the Olympic cauldron to kickstart the videogames at the close of the opening event in Beijing.

During an look on CNN’s State of the Union, Linda Thomas-Greenfield called out China’s effort at adjustment: “This is an effort by the Chinese to sidetrack us from the genuine problem here at hand that Uyghurs are being tortured, and Uyghurs are the victims of human rights infractions by the Chinese. And we have to keep that front and .”

UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on China choosing a Uyghur professionalathlete to light the Olympic flame: “This is an effort by the Chinese to sidetrack us from the genuine problem here at hand, that Uyghurs are being tortured.” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/lkrB0U0hXd

— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) February 6, 2022

When NBC broadcast the opening event, reporter Savannah Guthrie called the relocation an “in-your-face reaction to those Western countries, consistingof the U.S., who haveactually called this Chinese treatment of that group genocide and diplomatically boycotted these videogames.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki revealed months ago that the U.S. federalgovernment delegation would boycott the Olympic Games over the Chinese federalgovernment’s human rights abuses, consistingof the presumed suppression of tennis star Peng Shuai.

“The Biden administration will not sendout any diplomatic or authorities representation to the Beijing 2022 winterseason Olympics and Paralympic Games provided the PRC’s continuous genocide and criminaloffenses versus mankind in Xinjiang and other human rights abuses. The professionalathletes on group USA have our complete assistance. We will be behind them 100 percent as we cheer them on from house. We will not be contributing to the excitement of the videogames,” Psaki stated at the time.

Thomas-Greenfield stated Sunday that the situations in China are “not service as normal” since “we understand that a genocide hasactually been dedicated there.”

“We’ve made clear that criminalactivities versus humankind are being dedicated in China. So it is essential that the audience who gotinvolved and experienced this comprehend that this does not take away from what we understand is occurring on the ground there,” she stated of Yilamujiang’s function in the opening event.

“We have to guarantee that we continue to raise these issues that are happening in China at the minute,” she included.

China’s choice to have Yilamujiang provide the Olympic flame was not the nation’s just effort at revealing unity: the nation managed a conventional entryway of its nationwide flag including a group of individuals implied to represent China’s 56 ethnic groups.

“This is an effort to program they are all unified under the Chinese flag,” Guthrie stated throughout the relayed, including that China is “looking to show variety.”

She keptinmind there are “obviously deep stress and issues under the surfacearea here” priorto asking NBC’s China skilled, reporter Andy Browne, to weigh in.

“This is a nationwide routine implied to program that China’s ethnic groups live together as one huge delighted household, however as we goneover earlier, the Biden administration pointedout continuous human rights abuses by the Chinese federalgovernment versus the Uyghurs, one of China’s ethnic minorities, as factors for the diplomatic boycott,” he stated, including that the White House “did not desire to contribute to the excitement of the videogames such as this.”

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