One of the athletes lighting the Olympic cauldron was a Uyghur. Here’s why that matters πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

A number of countries have boycotted the Beijing Winter Olympics. This means that while their athletes compete in the Games, their government officials will not be present in the country as is common practice.

Here are some countries that are boycotting the Games for different reasons.

United States: A β€œrecord number” of 177 US athletes walked at the Opening Ceremony, despite the Biden administration’s boycott of the Games in December as a statement against China’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”

Australia, United Kingdom and Canada: The three countries followed the US and announced a diplomatic boycott.

Japan: While it stopped short of calling the decision a boycott, the government also announced in December that it will not be sending Cabinet ministers or senior officials to the Games, saying Japan β€œbelieves that respect for human rights is important. We made a decision comprehensively.”

India: The country announced a diplomatic boycott on Thursday after China decided to make a soldier involved in the June 2020 Galwan clashes as the torchbearer.

Public broadcaster Doordarshan also announced it will not telecast the opening and closing ceremonies live. India has one athlete, skier Arif Khan, is participating at the Olympics.

In June 2020, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a bloody brawl with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley, close to Aksai Chin, an area controlled by China but claimed by both countries. It is unclear if or how many Chinese soldiers died. Both sides have accused the other of overstepping the de facto border, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that runs along the western sector of the valley.

Taiwan: The self-governing island, which diplomatically boycotted the Games, is a flourishing democracy, but the mainland’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to view the island as an inseparable part of its territory β€” despite having never controlled it. Today, relations between Taipei and Beijing are at their lowest point in decades.

When the Taiwan team entered the stadium, the Olympic live commentary announced β€œChinese Taipei” – Taiwan’s official name in the Olympics. Chinese state media CCTV, however, introduced the team as β€œChina Taipei” – a designation that implies the island is part of China.

One of the athletes lighting the Olympic cauldron was a Uyghur. Here’s why that matters

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