Russia’s Putin Goes To China’s Winter Games Despite Genocide Reports
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Russian president Vladimir Putin has pledged to attend the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing as he seeks closer ties with China at a time tensions with the West.
His remarks in a video call with Chinese President Xi Jinping came despite accusations of genocide and repression by China of its mainly Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
Devoted Christians are among others being targeted, Worthy News documented.
China’s crackdown on political freedoms in Hong Kong and Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who disappeared for weeks after accusing a top government official of sexual assault in November, also raised concerns.
Britain, the United States, Australia, and Canada have already said their high-level officials will not be attending the Winter Games in February, citing China’s poor human rights record.
However, athletes from these countries will still be in attendance. Russian President made clear he would not follow the West’s example. “I would like to point out that we always support each other when it comes to international sports cooperation,” he said about China. “That includes our position against attempts to politicize sports and the Olympic Movement,” Putin added in comments carried by Chinese state media.
Chinese President Xi said he looked forward to a “get-together.” The Chinese-Russian closer relationship comes while Russia faces more Western sanctions amid concerns about a possible Russian invasion in Ukraine.
European leaders were due to warn Russia Thursday that hostile action against Ukraine could come at a “high price,” as some 100,000
Russian forces are near the Ukrainian border.
Kyiv wants the West already to introduce more sanctions, saying doing so after an invasion would not impress Moscow.
Ukrainian authorities claim Moscow could be planning a military offensive at the end of January. Still, US officials say it is unclear whether President Putin decided to invade.
Russia demands security guarantees from the United States in exchange for de-escalation. Moscow wants legally biding assurances against further eastward expansion by the U.S.-led NATO military alliance and deployment of weapons close to its border.
NATO denies its activities are defensive and says that no country can veto Ukraine’s hopes of joining the alliance.
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