Bearing an Olympic torch by Uyghur athlete mirrors true Xinjiang

Published : 16 Feb 2022 01:34 AM | Updated : 16 Feb 2022 01:00 PM

Through rising to all challenges posed by the US and coronavirus, China has successfully launched the Beijing Winter Olympics at the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest, in grand style. Beijing has presented a spectacular show to the world for the games as all eyes were on the capital of China to watch the Olympic extravaganza.

The much-awaited opener was a tremendous cultural and political success for China. From a cultural perspective, the stunning ceremony showcased China’s winter culture and modern history to the world. The fabulous show was globally hailed as an audio-visual feast for aesthetes as it perfectly portrayed the ordinary life, culture, history, traditions, and low-carbon philosophy of China.

From a political perspective, the ceremony was a huge victory for China and similarly a huge loss to the US and its allies. There is no denying that as part of their all-out war to cripple China, the allies have long been trying to mar the successful organization of the Olympics by China. They unilaterally claimed not to send any officials to the Olympics, China cleared that it never invited the US though.

The US has also exerted its leverage on different countries to follow its suit, but the world has not joined the US in the so-called diplomatic boycott of the Olympics, and the US has eventually been sidelined over the issue in the global community. This has proven how much lower the US can stoop to deter China.

Despite the US frowns and a wild surge of Omicron infections, a total of 32 foreign heads of state, heads of government, members of the royal families, and heads of international organizations joined Chinese President Xi Jinping at the spectacular opening ceremony of the Winter Games in Beijing.

The heads of state, heads of government, and members of the royal families including six from Europe, five from Central Asia, three from the Middle East, two from South America, and others from Asia, the Pacific, and Africa graced the opening ceremony.

Many more leaders of foreign countries and international organizations also conveyed their wish that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be a complete success.  As per an estimate, a total of 170 countries and international organizations also sent their representatives to the ceremony expressing their unconditional support for China. 

To the utter surprise of many analysts, dignitaries from many countries considered long-standing allies including NATO members and important partners of the US stood beside the Chinese president at the ceremony. The presence of a huge number of global leaders and expressing support for China by almost all countries are seen as the great victory of Chinese foreign policy and the charismatic leadership of President Xi Jinping.

Analysts are of the view that the presence of such a large scale of foreign leaders is an unprecedented offline gathering of top leaders since the pandemic. They think the gathering underscores China's capacity of unifying others amid a challenging time, which also signals the widely shared support and expectations of the global community for the Games and completely defies the trivial voices of the US-led Western clique in calling for a ‘diplomatic boycott.

I firmly believe that such a huge gathering of global leaders, despite the US pressure and wild surge of Omicron infections, is an outcome of the calculative and matured diplomacy of China. The Chinese policy of putting humanity first and extending its helping hands towards the world during the struggling time of the pandemic has paid off well, and world leaders have finally rallied behind President Xi Jinping against all odds and difficulties.

These leaders have also showcased their sincerity in firmly supporting China and the Olympic Games. The gathering is also a strong response to the tactics played by the US on calling for a ‘boycott’ of the Games, highlighting the failure and unpopularity of the US and its boycott diplomacy. In my eyes, the international community has recognized and supported China's foreign policy and multilateralism by rallying behind the Chinese president at the ceremony.

However, such a remarkable victory of China has made the US and its allies unhappy and they have brazenly made the bearing an Olympic torch by an Uyghur athlete at the ceremony a target to distract global attention from the achievements. They have also tried in vain to taint the success by giving a narrow communal color to the selection of Dinigeer Yilamujiang as a torchbearer disregarding her identity as a Chinese and human being, though the US claims to be the sole protector of human rights on earth.

China has selected Dinigeer Yilamujiang, an Uyghur cross country skier born in Xinjiang, as one of two final torchbearers who ended the Olympic opening ceremony by sending a flame into the sky on a giant snowflake. But the US and its allies accused China of politicizing the games for the selection of Yilamujiang as a final torchbearer.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said, “This is an effort by the Chinese to distract us from the real issue here at hand”. However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) welcomed and defended the decision of China to select her as one of the torchbearers of the opening ceremony and insisted that since she was one of the participants, she had the right to compete and take part in any ceremony.

Analysts are of the view that the selection of Yilamujiang is not an effort to distract attention from the real issue; rather it is the US and its allies that are trying to distract global attention from China’s achievement by adding political color to the matter. The selection has revealed the true conditions in Xinjiang before the world and witnessing that the allies have lost their sense of proportion. Their remarks are motivated by pure jealousy of the feat of China. In a fit of envy, they have overlooked the fact that China has honored the Uyghur people by selecting her for bearing an Olympic torch.

People have been taken aback by hearing that the US is blaming China for politicizing the games as the superpower itself has already trampled all limits of political decency and diplomatic etiquettes in making the games a political and propaganda tool against China. The US has shown its true color again to the world by absurdly comparing the selection of Yilamujiang as a torchbearer to the issues of human rights. Analysts think thus the US has proved the hollowness of their claims of so-called persecutions in Xinjiang, which has put the superpower to shame.

In my eyes, the selection of Yilamujiang proves the nondiscriminatory and put minority and humanity first policy of China. The single incident speaks volumes of how the ethnic minorities of China are being treated by the state. Though it is being criticized by anti-China forces, her selection is an eye-opening case for the truth-seeking people in the world. Her selection mirrors the vast success China has achieved in Xinjiang. It has shown how privileged the ethnic minorities of China, especially in Xinjiang, are.  

The news of her selection will hearten the truth-seeking people to think twice before believing Western propaganda over Xinjiang, which is a deep-seated fear of the US. The allies have, therefore, concocted cock and bull stories about her selection just as a scared baby shouts at loud noises. But the world has taken their cry for human rights this time as crocodile tears and their all-out efforts to smear China have fallen flat just like before.  

-    Md Enamul Hassan is a news editor at the China Media Group (CMG) in Beijing, China