The sailors competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics had to endure the uncertainty and limitations of the pandemic and the scorching heat of the region, but also experienced hospitality from a country that likely would preferred to focus on its recovery from the COVID-19 disease.
But for the athletes competing at the upcoming Beijing 2022 Olympics, memories of China spying on attendees during the Beijing 2008 Olympics are initiating protective measures for the upcoming competition.
It has been reported how teams from Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, and United States are either encouraging, or requiring their representatives to not bring mobile devices and computers due to intel that spyware will be installed to extract private information or track future activity.
Not surprisingly, the contention of information espionage is disputed by CGTN, the official website for China Global Television Network, which published the following report:
You come here, do your thing on the piste or rink, win a medal or two, and we will be listening in on every single one of your conversations on your phone, whether you are talking about the food, the bed in the Olympics Village, or how you are going to train next year. Regardless, we’ll be listening in.
If you think this scenario reads like something out of a spy novel or a segment in 007, you’d be surprised that politicians in the Netherlands, the UK and the U.S. are authoring one on the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
In recent days, it’s been reported that Dutch athletes have been advised to leave their phones and laptops at home “in an unprecedented move to avoid Chinese espionage.” Team UK received temporary phones to take to China for the Games.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio had even sent a letter to President Joe Biden inquiring on the administration’s effort to ensure American athletes are “sufficiently protected from Beijing’s surveillance and manipulation.”
Such a paranoiac rush to try to protect themselves from imaginary threats is the inevitable result of the out-of-control politicization of this year’s Winter Olympics. – Full report
Editor’s note: In case it needs to be said, the Chinese government has significant control over its media, which is handy when assuring your populace that you are not as evil as foreign nations contend you are.