Nancy Pelosi warns Team USA athletes to focus on Olympic competition and avoid angering the 'ruthless' Chinese government
- Nancy Pelosi warned US
athletesto avoid angering the "ruthless" Chinese government.
- Pelosi told athletes to focus on competing and to resist the temptation of speaking out in Beijing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged
"I would say to our athletes — you're there to compete. Do not risk incurring the anger of the Chinese government because they are ruthless," Pelosi said on Thursday at a hearing for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
"I know there is a temptation on the part of some to speak out while they are there. I respect that, but I also worry about what the Chinese government might do to their reputations, to their families," Pelosi said.
"So, again, participate, let us celebrate from abroad, and don't risk thinking that there are any good intentions on the part of the People's Republic of
Pelosi's warning comes the same week that athletes were advised to bring burner phones to Beijing over concerns that their cellphones may be monitored and their data compromised by China's health app — which all attendees at the Games are required to install.
For its part, China has also warned foreign athletes of the possible penalties of making statements that violate Chinese law at the 2022 Winter Games.
"Any expression that is in line with the Olympic spirit, I'm sure, will be protected," Yang Shu, deputy director-general of international relations for the Beijing Organizing Committee, said in January. "Any behavior or speech that is against the Olympic spirit, especially against the Chinese laws and regulations, are also subject to certain punishment."
Yang's statement prompted the Congressional-Executive Commission on China to call on January 31 for the US
The US is leading a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics, citing Beijing's repression of
China is also under fire for its handling of sexual assault allegations from tennis star Peng Shuai. Peng went missing in early November after accusing Zhang Gaoli, China's former vice-premier, of forcing her to have sex with him. She re-emerged after an aggressive campaign from the sporting community, but now denies making these accusations altogether.
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