Olympic Games: Autocrats in particular travel to the opening

As of: 01/28/2022 6:20 p.m

A week before the start of the Olympic Winter Games in China it is clear: most democratically governed states will boycott the opening of the games. Above all, autocrats arrive.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s list reads like a best-of of the autocratically governed states. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is in first place, followed by a good 20 other heads of state and government. According to this, the rulers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Qatar will travel to Beijing for the opening of the Winter Games. The presidents of Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan are also expected.

UN Secretary-General Guterres will also attend the opening

The China director of the organization Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson, calls the Olympic guest list a vivid series of heads of government who violate human rights in their countries.

The problem is that UN Secretary-General António Guterres is also present. But that was to be expected and fits the picture, after all, the UN chief has never openly criticized China’s human rights violations against the Uyghurs, Richardson said ARD radio.

It is interesting which European countries are sending representatives to the Olympic opening ceremony: Poland and Serbia are sending their Presidents Andrzej Duda and Aleksandar Vučić. According to the Chinese government, Grand Duke Henri is arriving from Luxembourg.

A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry announced that Party leader Xi Jinping will hold a welcome banquet in honor of the Olympic guests. The Thai king’s sister is the only woman on the list.

Germany is not sending any high-ranking politicians either

Numerous democratically governed states have announced that they will expressly not send any politicians to the Olympic Games in China. The USA, Great Britain, Japan, Australia, Canada, Lithuania, Estonia and Belgium have joined this political boycott. Germany will not send any high-ranking politicians to Beijing either, although the federal government expressly does not speak of a diplomatic boycott.

The head of the IOC, the German Thomas Bach, wants to attend the opening.

Image: dpa

However, one German is on the Chinese leadership’s list of honors at the Olympics: Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, who had already met with head of state and party leader Xi Jinping in Beijing in the middle of the week.

Dictators in particular travel to China for the opening of the Olympics

Steffen Wurzel, SWR, 28.1.2022 · 17:25


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